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06/30/2017, 12:45pm EDT
By Natalie Tobey

Billet families help Rockets players’ careers take off

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – In August, about 50 young men will skate into the Bridgewater area to pursue their hockey dreams as members of the New Jersey Rockets. These players, who range in age from 16-20 years old, are from all over the United States, as well as Canada and overseas, and are looking for a place to call home here in Bridgewater.

The New Jersey Rockets Billet, or host family, program is a staple to the organization, which allows players from outside the immediate area the opportunity to play at the highest level of junior hockey and have a home away from home. Billet families provide a caring, supportive, family environment for the players with the reward of lifelong friendships.

“A home away from home is crucial to staying on track for your goals throughout a vigorous and long season,” said former Rocket Ryan Spencer who stayed the 2016-2017 season with the Del Gaizo family in Basking Ridge. Spencer is originally from Wayland, Massachusetts. “Living with a family limits distractions and temptations that young adults might face. They become lifelong family and friends. They really open their arms to you and it’s a really awesome and unique thing.”

Families who join the Rockets billet program are provided with the following:

  • a monthly stipend to assist in offsetting food and other costs
  • an invitation to participate in the Billet Appreciation Night in the spring
  • two full season tickets per player they host, if the player is on the Rockets top-tier team (the only team that charges admission)

“The billeting program has been a critical aspect to our program,” said Head Coach Sean Cromarty. “It has been a rewarding experience for many of our players over the past two seasons. Connections have been made between both players and their families, which will last a lifetime.”

This year the Rockets are looking for homes for 50 players that will be coming to the area. Anyone interested in learning more about the billet family program can contact Rockets Executive Director, Natalie Tobey, at 732.627.0006 ext. 124 or via email

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