Despite being just a sophomore, forward Joe Cox has turned into a crucial part of the Spartan team.
The 6-foot forward from Chelsea did not put up staggering numbers in his freshman year, just six goals and six assists in 36 games, but his work ethic in practice turned some heads.
“My freshman year, a couple guys looked up to me,” Cox said. “This offseason I had a chance to step into a leadership role. It evolved faster than I thought it would.”
Cox has relished every minute of his bigger role.
“I love it,” Cox said. “I love being a leader. I love having that much respect from the guys knowing you can make a move and have guys right behind you that have your back. It’s a really good feeling.”
Head coach Tom Anastos decided to give Cox an “A” on his sweater going into this season, a move that was an easy decision.
“His work ethic and attention to the details of his game are at a high level,” Anastos said. “He is a relentless worker. He works on all the finer points, a very coachable kid, sets a very high standard.”
Anastos pointed towards Cox’s practice habits as part of the reason he is such a good leader.
“In practice, he sets a very high standard and hopefully that can influence others around him,” Anastos said. “I think as he’s gaining experience, he’ll gain confidence and as he gains confidence, he’ll become a more effective college player at this level and make a greater and greater impact.”
Over the past handful of games, Cox has started to also find success on the score sheet. He has two goals and four assists in the last eight games.
“I’m on a great line with Mike (Ferrantino) and Villiam (Haag),” Cox said. “We work really well together down low and in the defensive zone, working off each other, getting the pucks.”
Embracing not only a larger leadership role, but a bigger role offensively has satisfied his coach.
“We’re pleased with his progress,” Anastos said. “He’s a hard-working, blue collar player and leader and I think he’s growing more comfortable being in a leadership role. He’s an important part of our team and I just think he’ll make a growing impact as he gains experience.”
Brian Bobal is the co-host of Behind the Mask for Impact Sports
Photo: Brian Bobal/Impact Sports