Jesse Darrow, 31, of Williamsport, is an all-around sports fan. Among his favorites are "fast-paced, exciting" sports such as soccer and hockey. Darrow is especially enthusiastic for the opportunity to follow the Williamsport Outlaws through their first season on the ice in Bowman Field.
Darrow, who has already been to several Outlaw games, says the experience is especially unique because Bowman Field offers the only outdoor arena regularly hosting a professional hockey team.
"Being in the outdoors like that definitely brings a sense of realism. They could just as easily be playing out on a pond somewhere," Darrow said.
As for braving the frigid temperatures? Darrow recommends fans remain as enthusiastic as possible to stay warm.
"Right now I go with a group of about 10 friends and we're the loudest fans in the stadium. I want to encourage other people to come out and get into it," Darrow said.
"We need more people to be rowdy hockey fans with us," he added.
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Darrow also hopes that local youth will embrace the opportunity to learn hockey. As a child, Darrow had an interest in learning hockey, but was never able to find classes nearby. He recalled one of his friends in elementary school used to travel to State College every day for his hockey lessons.
"Hockey is a great sport for kids. It's rough and physical and teaches things you need to know in life, like how to solve problems creatively and how to play on a team," Darrow said.
He also likes that hockey is a physical sport.
"I'm scared of a world where everyone gets trophies for participating. Teaching children that they can never fail is setting them up for an unrealistic view of the world," Darrow said.
"With a physical sport like hockey, sure they may get bumped around or fall down, but they're going to learn to get back up and keep going. That's a much more important lesson. Forget the idea that everyone should get equal rewards just for showing up," he added.