Another JRFlyer is headed to the NCAA. JRFlyers forward and Captain Justin Weinbrenner won’t be going too far as he will be suiting up for Neumann University. The 6’7 Allison Park, PA native has spent two seasons with the JRFlyers. Weinbrenner had a solid 2018-19 with 19 goals 15 assists for 34 points. The Captain stays close in the area as Neumann is just a short drive away from the Ice Line. Some familiar faces await Justin when he arrives as well. Former JRFlyers forward Chris Caldwell who is heading to his Junior year, former Captain Tommy Dougherty and Barry Kneedler just finished up their sophomore year with the Knights. Dougherty and Kneedler were part of the Championship team one year before Weinbrenner had arrived. Now four former JRFlyers have a chance to make an impact next season which is exciting.
It has been a great two seasons for Weinbrenner as he reflects on his time. “I love it here, and it’s part of the reason why I chose Neumann because I want to be involved with the JRFlyers in the future. I had a great time here, even though we had a roller coaster ride this season, I’m proud to be a JRFlyer and I always will be.”
Weinbrenner also saw his game improve over the two seasons to help him get to the next level. “I’m a late bloomer, but I came into this wanting to work hard and have a passion to achieve my goals, which was to play college hockey. I couldn’t have gotten there without Coach Domish and everything he has done for me. He has made me a better player and I am forever grateful for that, and I’m excited for the next chapter.”
Weinbrenner is ready for the task ahead and has goals set. “I want to be a top freshman next year. I want to play as hard as I can and succeed at the college level. I would like to achieve my goal in playing some form of professional hockey, and maybe go overseas.”
As mentioned before, three former JRFlyers are already having success with Neumann and Weinbrenner is ready to take it all in and learn. “They (Caldwell, Dougherty, Kneedler) are going to be big role models for me. They were leaders when they were with the JRFlyers and they are already leaders with Neumann. I’m going to feed off everything that they have to give so it can make me a better player, and maybe I could be a leader for Neumann one day, like they are.”
Head Coach/GM Jerry Domish saw the growth of Weinbrenner of the past two years and has high expectations for him going forward. “He has improved a lot in his time here. His skating is much better, he understands his game and now plays like a power forward, his physical play has continued to improve and now he is an offensive contributor. He has a great work ethic and character, because of that he gets the most out of himself and others.” Domish’s thoughts on being teammates with former JRFlyers and what he can bring to Neumann: “I think Justin will fit in instantly with those guys. His physical presence will help him at the beginning while he adjusts to the level of play. I think he will define the power forward role and he has been a late bloomer, so I think he has a lot of growth in his game left. It has been a real pleasure to coach Justin and our program will definitely miss him. I can’t wait to get out to the games next year to see all our alumni at Neumann.”
Next stop is Neumann, but Weinbrenner wanted to show appreciation for those who helped along the way. “I want to thank my parents and family for all their support and everyone who has been part of my hockey career. Thank you to Coach Domish for all the help he has given me over the past two seasons. I want to thank my 18U Coach Kevin Quinn, he really turned me into the player am now and I learned a lot of lessons from him. He believed in me and he is the reason why I am here today. Thank you Jerry (Domish) for all the extra focus to help me improve my game and be a better player.”
Lastly, his message to his teammates. “I wish all the boys the best moving forward especially for the age outs. For the guys who still have a year or more, play every game like it is your last.”
Congratulations Justin on a successful junior hockey career. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the JRFlyers over the past two seasons. Through your work ethic on and off the ice, you truly represented what it means to be a JRFlyer, thank you. You will always be part of the JRFlyers Family.
By: Joe Sindoni
Director of Broadcasting
Play by Play Announcer