RoughRiders’ 16U AAA standout Morrison commits to Air Force
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Jonathan Morrison’s good year keeps getting better.
The Rocky Mountain RoughRiders’ 16U AAA defenseman jumped onto scouts’ radars this summer by playing well at the USA Hockey Select 16 Festival and then the 2000 birth year committed to the Air Force Academy (Atlantic Hockey) on Oct. 9.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “It was a big draw for so many reasons – the education, the benefits the service offers.”
Morrison is from Eagle and began playing hockey for the Vail Mountaineers. He came down the hill to play AAA at age 11 and has been with the RoughRiders since his 14U season three years ago.
“Air Force is an unbelievable opportunity for him, not only in hockey but for his life,” said RoughRiders director of hockey operations Derek Robinson. “It’s a big decision for a 16-year-old, but he and his family did their research.”
At 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, Morrison is still growing, but one aspect of his game already stands out.
“His skating ability, first and foremost, is his biggest strength,” Robinson said. “He’s really worked on his defensive game, and has the ability to jump up into the play to contribute on the offensive side.
“Not only is he a really good representative of our hockey club, but Jonathan and his family have trusted the process. There’s even harder work to put in now to develop further.”
“The club has great coaching, and the coaches always set you up for success,” Morrison added. “I’ve gotten great exposure, and they’ve helped me develop in all aspects of my game. I’ve matured a lot playing for the RoughRiders.”
Morrison, who has lived with billet families in the Denver area since he was 13, also was quick to thank them.
“Without them, this opportunity would not be possible,” said Morrison.
— Chris Bayee