Raaymakers Gaining, And Giving Confidence
Joseph Raaymakers has had a quiet few seasons. Last year, COVID cancelled his season, and in his first USports season, he was learning the ropes of the University level.
This season however, an older, more mature, more prepared Raaymakers has been a frustrating goalie for shooters to face. With that, he’s been gaining confidence, and giving confidence to his St. Francis Xavier X-Men teammates.
“It has felt good knowing that the team and staff have the confidence in me,” said Raaymakers of his solid start. “At the beginning of the season my goal was to establish confidence that I can give the team a chance to win every night. I continue to strive for that goal, but it is comforting knowing that the confidence is reciprocated.”
Just being back on the ice has been something to look forward to for Raaymakers, who spent his offseason working with former Wallaceburg Lakers goalie Paul Drew.
“Having games on the schedule again is something to look forward to each week. The past year and a half have been difficult for not only the sporting world, but many families affected by the pandemic. I was lucky enough to practice with the team throughout the year at StFX and spent my summer in PEI on the ice working with Paul Drew at Andrews Hockey Growth Programs. It has made me reflect on how privileged and grateful I am to be playing games again.”
As with many teams, the X-Men are young, having lost two graduating classes of seniors, but they have potential, and with Raaymakers veteran presence behind them, they’re growing more confident with each game.
“We have a fairly young roster this year, however the energy level and work ethic that the team has this year is outstanding. We have some highly talented players and a good mix of blue-collar players. The environment established here makes it enjoyable coming to the rink every day. I look forward to our growth as a team this season and playing alongside my teammates in this highly competitive league.”
Raaymakers, a Chatham-Kent Cyclones alumni, joined St. Francis Xavier after completing a five year OHL career with the Soo Greyhounds and London Knights.