When West Ranch hockey’s Ryan Meaney was a kid, he did as most Santa Clarita Valley boys do and played baseball.
He was on a youth baseball team and plodded along with the sport, but he wasn’t completely happy.
When he was 10 years old, a birthday party invite unexpectedly opened a door. The party happened to be at an ice rink.
As Meaney took to the ice, something clicked. And before he knew it he was in a “try hockey for free” session at the same rink.
“It was kind of an easier transition than I thought just because I like to move, I like to be active,” he said. “So baseball was just kind of boring to me. When I started playing hockey, I liked it a lot more.”
Meaney, now a freshman, began playing for the Valencia Flyers shortly after. While at a hockey camp at Valencia Ice Station, Jason McNamara, a representative from the West Ranch hockey organization, approached him about joining the varsity team.
After a few practices with the Wildcats over spring break, Meaney decided he was ready to be a part of the Cats team.
Now, he’s tied for second on the team in terms of goals with four and added three assists in his freshman campaign. The Wildcats are currently 4-4 in the LA Kings High School Hockey League.
“When I first started with them, it was a little intimidated going against older guys,” said Meaney. “I kind of struggled with being confident on the ice I guess, but after practicing with West Ranch and playing more games with West Ranch, I felt a little better. A little stronger on the ice.”
Meaney has the long-term goal of playing hockey in college, but while he’s at West Ranch, he has to objectives in mind: develop a more powerful shot and put West Ranch hockey on the map.
“It feels good to be able to play for your team, be able to make an impact for your school through hockey,” he said.
“…We’re not really that big at our school … being able to help your teammates out with points and stuff and producing and hoping win games brings more attention to hockey at West Ranch.”