Colorado Rubber

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Boulder native Gatewood finds ‘perfect fit’ with NCAA Division III commitment to SUNY Geneseo


Payne Gatewood played the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons for the NCDC’s Utica Jr. Comets.

The Boulder native will stay in New York for the upcoming 2024-25 season after recently committing to NCAA Division III SUNY Geneseo.

“Going into my age-out season, I knew I would need to perform at high level to attract the schools I wanted to attend,” said Gatewood. “Around December, I had a meeting with my coach regarding colleges. He informed me that SUNY Geneseo had some interest and would be reaching out to me. I knew it was a top Division III program with a strong academic reputation, and I was very excited to hear from them. After a few weeks of talking with them, I made the decision to commit.”

Gatewood added that he sees Geneseo as “the perfect fit.”

“They have a reputable coaching staff who are all alumni, which to me shows how great the culture is and how strong the community is,” Gatewood said. “The team consistently ranks in the top 10 and has the opportunity to win a national championship, which has always been a dream of mine. I have visited three times, and each time I visited was better than the last. The facilities are awesome and I was able to speak with players graduating this year, who had nothing but good things to say about the hockey program and the school as a whole. SUNY Geneseo has also moved many of their players on to the pro level, including the AHL, ECHL, and overseas. I think that has a lot to do with the way the team is coached and how well guys develop there as players and as people. Academically, SUNY Geneseo provides a wide variety of career paths and is one of the best schools in the SUNYAC.”

Not only is Gatewood pumped to get on the ice at Geneseo, but he is also excited to start his work in the classroom

“I have always taken my academics very seriously,” said Gatewood. “I’m not entirely sure what I want to major in yet, but I will not have to decide until my junior year. I’m looking forward to taking various classes to find what subject suits me best.”

The past two seasons in Utica were a turning point in Gatewood’s development path. He said the NCDC is a great path to college hockey.

“I think the program in Utica really helped me grow as a player these past two years,” Gatewood said. “The feedback I got from the coaching staff and the accessibility to ice time and the gym provided me with more than enough to excel in my game. I think the NCDC is a league of speed and skill, which compliments my game well, and has helped shape me into the player I am now.

“I am extremely excited to be a Knight and I’m very grateful to my family, friends, and coaches for helping me get to where I am now.”

In Colorado, Gatewood played youth hockey for his hometown Boulder Bison and Boulder Hockey Club.

Photo/Kyle Martino

— Matt Mackinder

(June 28, 2024)

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