Colorado Rubber

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For Parker native Prendergast, NCAA D-I Western Michigan commitment checks all boxes

 

Tommy Prendergast’s commitment to NCAA Division I Western Michigan had been in the works for nearly a year.

For the Parker native, choosing WMU, a school based in Kalamazoo, Mich., and a top team in the NCHC, was a decision worth the wait.

“Western Michigan scouts saw me at a Green Bay Gamblers USHL tryout camp the summer of 2022,” explained Prendergast. “They were in contact with me throughout my season with the 16U Colorado Thunderbirds. This past summer, I was able to visit the campus and meet the coaches and then later in the summer, I got a call from Western Michigan coaches offering me a scholarship.”

Prendergast said he is unsure when he will start as a freshman with the Broncos.

“When looking at Western Michigan, the structure and layout of the school’s hockey and academics really appealed to me,” Prendergast said. “They obviously have an amazing hockey team and the way they train and play was really awesome to see. They also make academics especially important and have many add-ons to the schedule to make sure their players are doing well with academics.

“School has always been very important in my family and my siblings have always shown me a great example of what a student should look like.”

Back home, Prendergast first took a liking to hockey watching his brothers play and then wanting to play himself.

“I started playing when I was six and I played for the DU Squirt team when I first started,” Prendergast said. “The Avs played a role in me playing hockey because we would always watch their games in our household.”

Prendergast played for the Jr. Pioneers until he switched over to the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders AAA team for his 13U year. He then played for the Colorado Thunderbirds until this year where he now skates for the Northstar Knights, a Christian academy located in Alexandria, Minn.

“Some coaches that stand out to me through my journey are Chris Delayne, Cam Clemenson, and my coach this year, Rylan Galiardi,” said Prendergast. “I’ll probably remember all of the connections to teammates and coaches that I have played with over the years. I will also remember the championships and big games that I got to play in during my time in Colorado.”

Looking ahead, Prendergast has attainable aspirations. Drafted in the fifth round (63rd overall) by Green Bay in Phase I of the 2022 USHL Draft, Prendergast was also selected by the Boston Jr. Bruins in the 12th round (204th overall) of the 2023 NCDC Entry Draft.

“My short-term goals for hockey are to finish out the rest of the season at Northstar and keep improving my game,” said Prendergast. “My long-term goals are to make the Green Bay Gamblers roster next season.”

Photo/Blake Steinbring/Bulldog Photography

— Matt Mackinder

(December 27, 2023)

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