Broncos Roll Out
Q&A with Head Coach Joey Gelsonimo
What is the mission of the RBHS roller hockey team?
To provide a way for the student athletes to represent their school while playing a sport they enjoy.
What is the history of the program, and how has it evolved over the years?
There is a strong hockey history for RBHS going back over 15 years now. We’ve been lucky enough to field both JV and varsity teams every season. We look forward to growing our club with new players – whether you have experience in playing or not, our coaching staff is always willing and able to help players at all skill levels!
What is your role with the team?
I am the head coach of the program. This is my fourth year as varsity head coach and fifth year in the program.
“It’s something I personally enjoy–giving back to the sport that’s given me so much.”
Can you tell us about your experience with the sport, and what led you to your current role?
I grew up playing hockey in San Diego at the age of nine and was lucky to be coached by such great coaches. Growing up, I always helped run the “learn to skate” clinics at the Escondido Sports Center, and that made me branch out into team coaching. It’s something I personally enjoy – giving back to the sport that’s given me so much.
How many students are on the team? What is the tryout process like, and who is eligible?
Currently we have seven players and two goalies at the varsity level. For our JV club, we have eight players. Our tryout process begins in November for three days. Tryouts consist of quick individual drills, some conditioning, and team play. We’re looking for skill, effort, and a good sense for teamwork. We don’t make cuts to the program, and everyone has a spot to play as long as they put forward their best effort.
AT – A – GLANCE
Rancho Bernardo High School Roller Hockey
Coaches: Joey Gelsomino and Tom Cullwell
When does the season begin and end?
Our regular season starts end of November and goes until the beginning of March.
Can you share any highlights from last year’s season?
We had a great regular season last year. We ended up with an overall record of 20-2. Made it to the championship game, where we came up short in overtime losing 3-2. Great game. Our athletes played very hard.
What are you looking forward to as the 2017-2018 season continues?
Looking forward to our varsity team melding together as a unit and our JV players challenging themselves to become the best players they can be.
Everyone has a spot on the team as long as they put forward their best effort”
What is the most rewarding aspect about coaching? The most challenging?
Seeing the athletes have fun while learning is something very special to me. We preach fun in our program. If the athletes aren’t having fun it’s not worth it in my opinion. The biggest challenge is keeping up our numbers as a club. We’re always looking to add more players so we can continue to grow.
Tell us about the support you receive from parents, volunteers, and the community. How can parents or community members get involved?
Lucky for us, we have the absolute best parents in the club. Very supportive of the athletes. Getting them to games and practices on time. We’re always looking for ways to fundraise for the club. We are self-funded, so if anyone is looking to help out, please reach out to us!
What are your short-term and long-term goals forthe program?
Every season, we’re looking to win with our individual teams, but we’re also looking to grow on and off the rink. Each one of our athletes has their own goals they look to achieve while maintaining and keeping up with schoolwork. Long-term, we want the program to grow student athlete-wise. The more athletes we have, the better.
AT – A – GLANCE
Name: Joey Gelsomino
Community: Rancho Bernardo
Education: San Pasqual High School and Palomar College
Family: Girlfriend of 11 years – Kailyn Servis; Dog – Loki
Hobbies & Interests: Coaching, hockey
Tell us about the coaching staff and the type of experience and skills that they bring to the table.
Coach Tom is another player who grew up in San Diego playing high-level hockey. He brings to the table goaltender knowledge, as that was his position. We are lucky to have someone who can train goaltenders the way he does.
What recognition has the team garnered over the years?
RB is known in the hockey community as a team that’s always in contention for the championship. Through the years, we have built a program with numerous championships, league titles, and individual player recognition. Our most recent championship was in the 2014-15 season, and our most recent league title was last year.
How do you stress the importance of academics to the student athletes?
All of our student athletes know that school always comes before hockey. We stress the importance of good grades and how important it is to their future. Our athletes do take their grades seriously. Last year, our club average GPA was 3.6.