Lafayette native Creger donning ‘C’ with USPHL’s Riverkings for 2020-21 campaign
Cole Creger left home in 2017 to play junior hockey with the USPHL’s Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings.
Now three years later, Creger hopes to close out his junior career with a national championship and a plan for the future.
“After playing for Marty Quarters for the three years prior, I built a relationship with him and others in the organization which lead to me being a two-year captain and having the opportunity to play another year with the Riverkings,” Creger said. “I ended up with the Riverkings because my brother Chance Creger played for Marty his last season of junior hockey before going on to play NCAA Division III hockey.”
Creger, a 2000-born Lafayette native, said there is a lot to love about playing hockey in Wisconsin.
“The Riverkings appealed to me because of their winning records previous to me joining the organization, and also because of Marty’s ability to put a solid team together every year,” said Creger. “The USPHL appealed to me because of how competitive the league is and knowing I would develop as a player and person playing here. The hockey landscape in Wisconsin Rapids is unbelievable. We have an amazing rink to play in with our own locker room and workout room with capability of hosting many fans. The town has a close following of the Riverkings with a big fan base including many businesses which sponsor the team.
“With this being my last year of eligibility of junior hockey, I’m hoping to accomplish a divisional and national championship.”
As a rookie back in 2017-18, Creger didn’t go into juniors blindly.
“My childhood best friend Kyle Smith was on the team the year before I joined the Riverkings which lead to him taking me under his wing my rookie season with the Riverkings,” said Creger. “I got started with hockey because my parents were always watching it on TV when the Avalanche were playing. This led to Chance and I playing roller hockey in the driveway and eventually started playing on ice.”
During his youth, Creger started playing hockey at the YMCA in Lafayette and then moved to the Boulder Bison his second year of Squirts until his 13U and 14U years where he played for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.
After that, Creger moved to Michigan to play two more years of AAA before winding up in the USPHL.
“Two coaches that stand out to me are Matt Huckins and my brother Chance who is the assistant coach with the 18U RoughRiders and the 15U and 16U head coach for Hyland Hills AA,” Creger said.
Down the line, Creger has aspirations returning to Colorado.
“My long-term goal is to get a degree in Aviation and Aerospace and become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force,” he said.
— Matt Mackinder
(Dec. 4, 2020)