BEMIDJI, MN – Bismarck Bobcats defenseman and life-long Bemidji State University hockey fan Sam Rendle has fulfilled a longtime dream, announcing Tuesday that he has committed to play his collegiate hockey for the Beavers.
“Growing up about 45 minutes away from Bemidji, I’ve been to my fair share of Beavers games,” said Rendle, who hails from Grand Rapids, Minn., “but I never thought that I’d get a chance to play for the one school I’ve always wanted to go to—things don’t usually work out that way for guys.”
The commitment to BSU caps a strong month of November that saw Rendle rack up three goals and five assists with a +3 plus-minus rating in nine games and secure NAHL Central Division Player of the Week awards on both Nov. 2 and Nov. 23.
“Sam has come on really strong in the past month, and not just statistically,” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool, “he has become very strong in his own end and established himself as a top defender in our league. We’ve known for awhile that he has Division I potential and now [Beavers] Coach [Tom] Serratore is getting a terrific player in Sammy.”
In the first half of the season, the offensively gifted blueliner has become the fifth-leading scoring defenseman in the entire NAHL with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. A special teams regular, he is also tied for third among league defenders with four power play goals in 2009-10.
Despite the strong numbers and a college commitment in hand, Rendle quickly admitted to having more work to do.
“It’s great to know there will be a next level for me, but it’s not good enough to just get the offer and go play [at Bemidji]. I want get to the point where I can get to school and be ready to step in and contribute every day and not be an every-other-night kind of guy.”
The Beavers, who played in the 2009 Frozen Four, will be making the jump to the prestigious WCHA—considered to be one of the top conferences at the Division I level—starting in 2010-11.
And as if the elite level of collegiate hockey and lifelong fandom weren’t enough, Bemidji State held yet another draw for the first-year Bobcat.
“It’s a really great teaching school,” added Rendle, “and academically I want to study to become a teacher. My dad [Pat Rendle] got his masters degree at Bemidji State for that, so things worked out just perfectly.”
Rendle is the third Bobcat with a Division I commitment, joining Jason Fabian (Air Force, Atlantic Hockey) and Gavin Hartzog (Wisconsin, WCHA); he is the first Bobcat to commit to a D-I school during the 2009-10 season.
Rendle and the rest of the Bobcats open their December schedule with a home game Saturday against the Alexandria Blizzard at 7:15 PM at the VFW Sports Center.
The game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 6:45 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.