Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Michigan Tech scoops up Muskegon pick

The hundreds of skaters who recently took part in Muskegon Lumberjacks tryout camp were not just duking it out for a spot on the Jacks’ 2011-12 roster, they also were playing for their hockey future beyond the United States Hockey League.

Just ask Jimmy Davis.

The Caledonia native caught the eye of Michigan Tech University head coach Mel Pearson at the L.C. Walker Arena and immediately was offered a scholarship to play for the Huskies this fall.

“To be able to get a scholarship through Jacks camp means a lot,” Davis said. “The main goal of junior hockey is to continue playing hockey, get a scholarship and get set up for whatever you want to do – whether it be going pro in hockey or whatever career you choose out of college.”

Davis was a standout defenseman at East Kentwood High School, from which he graduated this spring. A gritty, 6-foot, 190-pound blueliner, Davis helped his team to the final four of the Michigan state hockey tournament this past season. His father, Jim, spoke with Pearson following the Jacks’ all-star game on June 18, but withheld the conversation from his protégé, lest it prove a distraction in the following morning’s all-star game.

“I appreciate that he didn’t tell me,” said Davis, laughing. “My dad’s always looked out for me and pushed me. I have him to thank for my toughness and my work ethic.”

Davis has been using the workouts developed by Jacks assistant coach Dave Noel-Bernier, a certified strength and conditioning coach, to prepare for the jump from high school hockey. He’ll depart for Houghton on Aug. 22.

“This speaks to the kind of opportunity we’re providing to hockey players from Michigan – and anywhere – here in Muskegon,” Lumberjacks owner and CEO Josh Mervis said. “We can get players to college faster and on to their pro careers as fast here as any league in the world, including the CHL. We also get them prepared for life after hockey, which no other path can provide. That’s why the USHL is the perfect path.”

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