- By Jonathan Pearson
- Published: November 6th, 2012
Rick Turner tells his experience as being part of the Division I team, and being a student at Liberty
Sports fanatics understand that behind every great team, there is a leader — the player that stays late, shows up early and bears the weight of responsibility for every win and loss. This leader is selfless, determined and unrelenting in his pursuit of team victory. Rick Turner is that player for Liberty University.
An Auburn, Mich. native, Turner’s love affair with hockey began with a childhood gift from his parents.
“My parents gave me a pair of roller skates when I was 3,” Turner said. “They saw that I loved the sport. They got me started in youth hockey, and it just started off from there.”
Once Turner got started, he couldn’t stop and it wasn’t long until he was playing for large crowds.
“It’s way different,” Turner said. “When I played junior (hockey) we would probably get about 300 people a night, and here we get about 2000.”
Turner said that he enjoys interacting with the crowd and seeing them scream and pound on the glass. He likes to get them amped up with a big hit or a goal.
“I love it. Anytime I can get them more pumped up, it’s always good,” Turner said. “I’ve been playing hockey for about 20 years now, and this is by far the best place that I’ve played.”
For Turner, the only thing better than the fans is playing with teammates. They are like a family in pads and on ice, he said.
“It’s always fun playing with these boys,” Turner said. “That’s why you come to the rink every morning, for every practice and every game.”
Turner is a senior sports management major. He plans on graduating next year and either starting a career or earning a paycheck playing hockey.
“Hopefully, it will take me to the next level somewhere, whether it’s in Europe or the (United) States. If it doesn’t, well, that’s why I come to college,” he said. “I’ll get the degree and get a job out of college afterward. I’d love to stay in hockey, whether it’s coaching, or anything involved with hockey.”