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For every college sport, changes in the roster are inevitable. Players graduate, they move to another school and some even decide to pursue another career. At the same time, the team is stock-piled again with fresh recruits, each bringing in depth and a different dimension for their teams. The Liberty Men’s Hockey team held a CFAW recruitment camp over this weekend which saw around 75 potential recruits participating. The recruits were trying out for the men’s ACHA Division I-III teams and the lady flames hockey team.
“Our hope is to provide for them plenty of ice time and opportunities to showcase their abilities in the game of hockey, while participating at a level we believe they would fit,” Ice Center Assistant Director Jeff Boettger said. “Many of the players are still in high school and looking to graduate in one, two or three years, though many also are looking at attending Liberty in the fall and are striving to make a statement and hear they fit on one of our three men’s teams.”
The recruits come from a wide variety of locations from Florida to Canada and even California, but the majority of the recruits were from northern states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. Similar to the normal CFAW program that Liberty University hosts, the recruitment camp has a vital role for recruiting future players.
“We were in the locker room and he (coach) asked us who came to Liberty through the camp and almost everyone in the room raised their hands,” Division I player Luke Aitken said. “He told us:,since it obviously works, we should show them a good time.”
And the Hockey team seems to have done that during this weekend.
“The program overtook my expectations. The way they treat their players here is unbelievable,” recruit Jesse Paul said. “It’s definitely a great confidence booster and it definitely helps with having all this feedback from the coaches, so you get to work on your skills.”
The program has also seen some familiar faces come to CFAW recruitment camp.
“I was excited to come here. I’ve been coming here since I was 8-years-old because of my brothers and sisters,” recruit Steve Bellew said. “It’s good to finally be in a position that I am old enough to play with them instead of watching. I wasn’t even nervous being here, and they just make you feel like you belong here. It’s been a good experience.”
It seemed like every recruit that was interviewed had a similar thing to say.
“Every experience with the guys has been really good and they’re really nice. They even gave us a tub of bubble gum and that’s great in my opinion,” recruit Kyle Garcia said. “I would definitely recommend this camp to a lot of people. I wasn’t really sure about this school before I came here but now I like it. I like it a lot.”