Marches to West Point continues for Worden
Nash Worden has quietly made a name for himself over the past three seasons skating for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League (USHL).
With USHL teams routinely advancing their players to NCAA Division I schools, the defenseman added his name to the lengthy list of recruits when he committed to the U.S. Military Academy (Army) nearly a year ago.
“It was very exciting,” the 19-year-old said of his decision to attend West Point. “I always pictured myself possibly being in the military, but never thought it’d pan out because of hockey and the path I’d chosen.
“After (Army) reached out to me and I did research on the school, it was a no-brainer; everyone I talked to said it was an unbelievable school, surrounded by unbelievable people.”
There are military bloodlines in the family, as Worden’s mother, Jennifer, was in the Air National Guard, and one of his cousins, Steven Pfister, was in the Marines. When he played with the Pikes Peak Miners in Colorado, Worden, the Lancers’ captain this season, lived with his second cousin, Darin Thompson, who was in the Army.
A Kaysville native, Worden got his start on the ice playing for the Davis County Wind after his father, Darin, founded the Davis County Youth Hockey Association. He also played for the Utah Stars and Utah Jr. Grizzlies and credits his family and Darryl Olsen and Chrissy Alesch as coaches who helped him recognize his talent.
“I started to skate after my father and I watched the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2001,” said Worden, who began his junior career in the North American Hockey League with the Wichita Falls Wildcats. “After that, we started to go to Utah Grizzlies games and, after that, I really wanted to start playing hockey.
“Since I’ve played in Utah, the sport has grown a lot; more kids are playing and there are more coaches and resources out there for young players to learn and grow, which is helping develop more and more talent.”
– Matt Mackinder