Meet Me in a Minute: Nicolas Belpedio


By Sidney Hines, Sports Social Editor

Transferring to a new school junior year may seem like it would be tough, but for junior Nicolas Belpedio, coming from an elite academy to the halls of Niles West has been a breeze. Belpedio made a smooth transition from a boarding school in Indiana, where he played hockey constantly.

Belpedio expresses how different transferring to a new school is, specifically a school that doesn’t focus on hockey as much as other sports.

“Not having a school team here at Niles West is weird because at my old school the hockey team was well known and everyone went to the games on the weekend,” Belpedio said.

Belpedio admitted that moving to a new school for his junior year was hard, but it has gotten easier as time goes on.

“So far, my experience at Niles West has been great,” Belpedio said. “I have met a lot of new people and have had fun over the past two weeks. I really like the environment at West. Being a transfer student was tough at first, but eventually I started to find familiar faces and began to find my way around the school. At first, I was pretty nervous coming into school on the first day, but everyone was very welcoming.”

For years, hockey has been a huge part of Belpedio’s life, and the opportunities that it has brought him seem endless.

“I have been skating since I was 2 years old, and playing (hockey) since I was 4. I got into hockey because of my older brother, Louie. I spent a lot of my childhood around the rinks watching him play, and I have loved hockey since the first day I stepped on the ice,” Belpedio said, “Hockey has driven my high school career, allowing me to travel around the country and meet a ton of people. It also forces me to be a good student to help with the college recruiting process. I’m super excited for the years to come playing hockey, to see all the places it will take me, and to see which college I will end up at for hockey.”

Belpedio’s close friend, junior Austin Kessem, believes that his hard work ethic on and off the ice is one of his best qualities.

“Nic and I met through hockey and bonded over it,” Kessem said. “We could talk about hockey and it led to us learning more about each other. Nic works hard on the ice and in the classroom. He is always looking to get better and it’s awesome to get to see him around the school.”

Counselor Ben Grais expressed that Belpedio has a lot of maturity, and he is a great addition to the halls of Niles West.

“I talked to him a few times and my first impression was that he seems like a true gentleman,” Grais admitted. “The traits he exhibited when I met with him showed a lot of maturity that I think gets lost a lot today’s day and age. It really seemed like I had his full attention and that we had a really good conversation. He really had some of those good manners that you hope to see in a student.”