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When Different Worlds Collide

By Michael Reedy, 04/01/22, 9:15AM MDT


Georgia natives Kash Crawford and Geno Carcone of Bishop Kearny talk about their southern roots and the variety of players from different places

PLYMOUTH, Mich. — There may not be an NHL team in Georgia anymore, with the Atlanta Thrashers relocating and becoming the Winnipeg Jets, but that didn’t stop the growth and evolution of the game down south.

In the southeastern region, which includes states like Georgia, Florida, and other neighboring states, there has been an increase of 49.13% with registered players since 2009. A non-traditional but growing hockey market has developed players like Kash Crawford and Eugene ‘Geno’ Carcone, both Georgia natives, who have moved north to play for Bishop Kearny Selects where they’ll look to compete for a national title for the second year in a row.

Geno, whose potted 38 goals and 62 assists in 65 games and has tallied three points (1G, 2A) so far in the tournament, almost went a different route when he was growing up with influence from his dad, but he had other plans.

“My dad's a scout for the Miami Marlins so growing up he always wanted me to get into the baseball side of things,” Geno said, whose hometown is Woodstock, Ga. “But my parents took me skating one time and I just fell in love with it when I was around four. Ever since then, I fell in love with the game and skating and I've grown a lot. I Played AAA in Atlanta for a while and then moved to Nashville and played with kids all from the south and from there, I came up north.”

Kash, a native of Atlanta, was influenced at the young age of two by his brothers and has been playing ever since then.

Bishop Kearny is well represented from players all over North America, featuring 12 different states and provinces, from the north to the south and the east and the west. Gathering a group of players from all over can take some time but can contribute to success once everyone meshes together.

“It's amazing,” Kash said. “We started with literally nothing with most of us not knowing each other. The only way we get to know each other is group activities and practices, but when you're with each other all the time, you learn to know everyone and learn the different cultures from all over North America.”

Living that far from where you grew up could be difficult, but the two, who have known each other since they were eight, can rely on each other and relate to things their teammates can’t. Whether it’s talking about Buc-ees or Georgia football, the things Kash and Geno are familiar get questioned by the team whenever they take a trip to the south.

“When the topics come up like football and other southern things,” Geno said. “Especially when we're going on trips down there, the other guys will be like ‘Oh, we have to ask the Georgia boys about it’ and it’s pretty fun to let them know a little bit of the southern culture.”

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