The Yarmouth Mariners announced today that Goaltender Charles Grant has agreed to a four year Athletic Scholarship with Dartmouth College Big Green. Dartmouth is a Division I School located in Hanover, New Hampshire.
"We are really happy for Chuck", commented Yarmouth Mariners Assistant Coach/GM Timothy Garden-Cole, who has developed a strong relationship with Grant since he became involved as an Affiliate Player during the 2008-2009 season.
"He is an unbelievable kid and a great goalie. He came to us at 17, skilled but very raw, and he has worked extremely hard over the last 3 years in every aspect both on and off the ice. He is very deserving of this and we are happy that all of his hard work has paid off for him", added Garden-Cole.
After being selected by the Yarmouth Mariners in the 2009 draft, Goaltender Charles Grant has been a regular standout between the pipes. Over the past 2 seasons and to begin 2011-2012, the 19 year-old from Berwick, Nova Scotia, has proven himself as one of the league's most sound technical netminders and has also become known for his ability to single-handedly win games for his team. Grant led the Mariners to their first playoff series win since 2007-2008 last season and has attended the last 2 Team Canada East try-outs for the World Junior A Challenge and made the Canada East team for the CJHL Prospects Event, turning in great showings at all events.
Grant is representative of the type of player the MHL can produce having played exclusively in the league with Yarmouth.
"I am very excited about the the commitment and relieved at the same time", said Grant of his committment with Dartmouth. "NCAA hockey was always a dream of mine for furthering my education. But I'm not looking ahead at the moment. I'm just focused on having a strong year with the Mariners".
Grant, obviously pleased with how his future is shaping up, expressed that his decision to play with Yarmouth and the MHL has turned out to be a wise choice.
"Yarmouth is undoubtedly one of the best junior towns in all of Canada and the MHL is a great league. We have the best fans in the Maritime Hockey League and I've really enjoyed my time here. Playing in Yarmouth has helped me develop my game and the team has really promoted me, so I have them to thank for my opportunities. I honestly couldn't see myself wearing any other jersey in junior. I'm very thankful the team gave me a chance to play here, and I have the coaching staff to thank for the opportunities that have lead up to this point. Playing Jr. A hockey in the Maritime Hockey League played a key role in my getting an opportunity to play Division I hockey".
Grant adds that playing in Yarmouth also presented challenges in terms of balancing ice and travel time with study time. The key is discipline and keeping focused on your goals.
"Finding time for school was tough at times and playing for Yarmouth meant a lot of long road trips. You need to make sure that you treat school as importantly as you would hockey. I made sure to keep my grades up while attending high school in Yarmouth, and tried to get them even higher when I returned home after the season. The time is there to do well with school, you just have to be disciplined with your time management. Keeping your teachers in the know of your schedule helps them to help you".
And finally, Grant's final words on NCAA and advise for other players hoping to take the same path: "NCAA hockey is a great way to further your education, and also play competitive hockey with a great atmosphere. I always had a goal to play for a school in the states, and was hopeful for Division I. The only advise I would have for others would be to always play hard because you never know who's watching. Opportunities can come at any time".
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)