By Lili Watford
From learning to skate at five-years-old to representing the University of Georgia on the ice during his senior year, hockey has always been a constant in Mesaros’s life.
Growing up in Alpharetta, Georgia, he played both lacrosse and hockey, but as he got older, he realized that hockey is the sport that he wanted to pursue in college, specifically at his dream school, UGA.
“Being from Georgia I have always wanted to go to UGA. The education is very good but when I found out about the hockey team I knew I wanted to come,” Mesaros said, “I knew I wanted to play hockey in college, but I did not want to go far from my family and play for a smaller d3 school up north. UGA is the best of both worlds.”
Mesaros initially got into hockey because of his dad’s passion for the game, but quickly found his own love for the sport.
“My dad is the one who made me fall in love with hockey. Ever since I was a kid we would watch the Buffalo Sabres together and that is what introduced me to the sport. Ever since then I have loved it,” Mesaros said.
While his dad is the one that originally got him into hockey, the support from his whole family has shaped him both as a player and as a person. By showing up to watch his games and offering advice and support when needed, Mesaros’s family has pushed him to become the best version of himself.
“My dad always taught me that putting effort into anything you do will pay off and you’ll be okay. As long as you try your best, that’s all that matters,” Mesaros said.
Mesaros’s enthusiasm and passion for the game and strong on-ice abilities has allowed him to become a leader on the team. At the start of the 2023-2024 season, he was named one of the team’s three assistant captains.
“It means a lot to me. It feels as if all the hard work and dedication I have put into the team has paid off,” Mesaros said.
When choosing assistant captains for his squad this year, head coach John Camp looked for players that expressed strong leadership qualities and determination.
Camp said that when choosing the captains, he looks for, “strong leadership, unwavering especially when it comes time to making the tough decisions and it [wearing a letter] also means representing the players.”
While Mesaros’s senior season has just begun, it is important to point out the success he has had during his career as an Ice Dawg.
Mesaros has been dominant on the ice since his sophomore year, which was his first on the team. He has been better than a point per game, recording 46 goals and 44 assists through 61 games played. He has big goals for his senior season both team-wise and individually.
“I would like for us to take home the CHF National Championship title,” Mesaros said, “As for a more personal goal, I’d like to hit 50 points in one season for the first time in my hockey career.”
Like many young players, he grew up idolizing stars in the National Hockey League. Despite his favorite team in the league being the Buffalo Sabres, he looks up to a variety of past and current players.
“Growing up, I always looked up to Wayne Gretzky as an athlete, but now I would say Matthew Tkachuk is who I model my game after,” he said.
Known for his aggressive playing style, Tkachuk’s game is blatantly seen in the way Mesaros carries himself on the ice. Mesaros plays the game with no fear, never backing away from a play or shying away from a hit.
While Mesaros has another season with the Ice Dawgs while he looks to obtain degrees in marketing and consumer economics, he is looking forward to pursuing a career in marketing and preparing for all aspects of his future. In the meantime, he has two more seasons to look forward to with the Ice Dawgs.
“The biggest thing I am going to miss are the people,” Mesaros said, “I have made some of my best friends here and I am very grateful for that.”