Meet Mav hockey's newest captains
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 21:12
With a new year and a new season, the Mavericks look to three new hockey captains to lead the team on the ice.
Senior defenseman Michael Young, is a criminal justice major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He started playing hockey at a young age. He picked up the hockey stick at 3 years old and worked hard through elementary and high school before becoming a Maverick.
Young grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He played junior hockey in Flin Flon, Manitoba and earned 13 goals and 33 assists for a total of 46 points in 55 games.
Young turned some heads his freshman year at UNO. He ranked third in defenseman after 37 games and scored 14 points for the Mavericks. His sophomore year is most remembered for scoring the winning goal against Mercyhurst on Oct. 7, 2011.
Last year Young broke a career high with 13 assists and 16 points by the end of the season. Young credits all of his coaches to his success.
“They all took me under their wings and showed me how to play,” he said.
He also attributes his accomplishment of being named captain to his coaches. Young said that being captain has been the highlight of his hockey career.
A love for sports isn’t without struggle. Young overcame a shoulder injury by undergoing surgery to get back in the rink. He didn’t sit out for long though and looks forward to a strong season with a strong team.
Critics have ranked the Mavericks eighth in the league this season.
“I want to prove the critics wrong this year,” Young said. “I think we can do that with this team.”
Young wants to play in the NHL in the future, but studying criminal justice has added being a police officer to his list of future possibilities.
Johnnie Searfoss is a senior forward alternate captain for the Mavericks this season. He is from Colleyville, Texas and began playing hockey at age 10.
Searfoss has played 103 games for UNO with 23 goals and 22 assists for 45 points total as a Maverick. His freshman year he ranked fourth overall at UNO for freshman goals. Last year, he set career highs in goals and assists.
Coaches have also been a huge influence on Searfoss’ hockey career, saying they pushed him to get better and better and were always there to teach.
His best memory on the ice was going to the Clark Cup finals two years in a row when he played in the junior league. Searfoss has high hopes for the Mavericks this year.
“We’re a good team,” Searfoss said. “We can pull off some big wins.”
After UNO, Searfoss hopes to play in the NHL and later start a business.
Alternate captain, Dominic Zombo, is also a forward for the Mavericks. He’s a junior business major from Ballwin, Mo. and hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps by playing in the NHL after next year.
Zombo began hockey at 3 years old and learned much about the game from his father, Rick Zombo. He credits his love for the sport to his dad.
“He taught me a lot about the sport and really helped me get started,” Zombo said.
Zombo played for the Sioux Falls Stampede before coming to UNO, playing 111 games.
Since coming to UNO, Zombo has earned career highs in goals and ranked third on the team in scoring. Hockey has taught Zombo many skills, both on and off the ice.
“It’s taught me to be the best in whatever I do, to always give 100 percent,” Zombo said.
He had to give that 100 percent to get back in the game after tearing his MCL before coming to UNO. Though it did take awhile to heal, it didn’t stop him from getting back on the ice and pursuing his goals as a Maverick.
After graduation next year Zombo wants to play in the NHL and eventually coach.
The Maverick’s first game will be an exhibition against NAIT on Oct. 7 in Omaha.