For Jacob Mitchell, former RI high school hockey stand out, life is about to change forever. This Fall he will be traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia to play hockey for West Virginia University.
Jacob, your not in Warwick anymore.
The road to playing Division 1 is never easier, for Mitchell it consisted of going new places, and meeting new people. At the age of 11 Jacob was playing for the RI Stars while also playing for the local Warwick Youth League. Playing on two teams at that age would consist of 7 days of hockey a week. Often practicing a few nights each week with each team, while playing games during the week and on the weekend.
It was in 7th grade when Mitchell said he really fell in love with the game of hockey and decided he wanted to put in extra work to better himself as a player.
From 2013-2016 Jacob would play his high school hockey for the former power house school Warwick Vets. But unfortunately, the summer going into his Senior year, Vets would close. Leaving him to transfer to Toll Gate and play his Senior year with some new faces. Mitchell said "The team had a lot more depth, and played in a higher division which he was excited for. My time at Toll Gate was a blast on and off the ice".
After high school is when the competition really began to pick up for Mitchell.
Upon graduation, Jacob would play in a few summer tournaments, the Chowder Cup and the USPHL Spring Showcase. Both tournaments consisting of high competition, and storied Junior Clubs from around the US and Canada. Mitchell said "these tournaments are what really exposed me and showered me there was a lot more talent and opportunities outside of RI".
His first of Juniors was spent playing with the Boston Junior Bruins in the USPHL. Then completing his last 2 seasons of Juniors with the historic powerhouse franchise, the South Shore Kings. Which has sent many players to the Division-1 Level and even professional.
When asked about his Junior hockey experience Jacob said "You make a lot of great friends and teammates that will last a lifetime. You also meet a lot of coaches and advisors that have a lot of connections throughout the hockey world." The games and competition at this level are much faster, and more competitive. Everyone fighting for the same thing, to get noticed. In the 3 years he spent playing Juniors Jacob said his game has excelled more then it did in his whole life.
When I asked him what made him chose West Virginia he said "It was based on more aspects off the ice. The hockey program offers a great atmosphere, consistent training on and off the ice. I was more into going to a big University as oppose to a small college town feeling. The campus is beautiful and the school has a lot of different majors to chose from".
Mitchell says he is looking forward to hockey season more than anything and he can't wait to meet his new teammates and coaches. It is his first time moving away from home and can't wait for the experience. Although he could not pinpoint one thing he is excited for the most, he said "These next 4 years will be the best of my life".
Jacob Mitchell, the next great hockey name out of Rhode Island to commit to a Division-1 program and more big things are to come for him.