Players have not yet reported for Training Camp for the NAHL’s Topeka RoadRunners 2013-14 season, but two of the players who will wear the RoadRunner crest this year have solidified their NCAA Division I college plans this week. Goaltender Drew Vogler and defenseman Shawn Brennan have each signed commitments to skate for Merrimack College beginning in the 2015-16 season.
Vogler, at 6’1” and 174 lbs. is from Florissant, Missouri and played last season for the Cleveland Barons U18 Midget Major team. He began playing roller hockey at age 5, but after two years, switched to goalie. He feels grateful for his opportunity with Merrimack. “They have an amazing program, and they treat their guys awesome, like part of a family. I’m looking forward to it.” Once there, Vogler will pursue a major in engineering, with a minor in business.
He’s also excited about the upcoming season with Topeka. “I’m excited to be a part of the RoadRunner organization. I know the coaches are great, and I think we’ll have a strong team. I can’t wait to get started!” He adds, “I'd like to thank my family for supporting my through the years especially my mom and dad for doing whatever they could to allow me to play. I'd also like to thank my goalie coach Bruce Racine for giving me the tools to get this far. Finally I'd like to thank all my coaches along the way for pushing me to be better.”
Brennan, a 5’11”, 180 lb. defenseman from Delaware, Ohio hit the ice at the tender age of 4. “I played forward up until Pee Wees then transitioned to defense.” A member of a hockey family, his Dad played as a youth through high school and his 8-year-old brother plays as well. Like Vogler, he also played last season for the Cleveland Barons U18 Midget Majors. His decision to attend Merrimack was an easy one. “The smaller campus environment really appealed to me. I also believe Coach (Mark) Dennehy's coaching philosophy and style of hockey will be a good match to my game. I like the style of hockey the Hockey East has to offer.” His major as of yet still undecided, Brennan is leaning toward Sports Medicine.
Speaking on his decision to play for the RoadRunners in Topeka, he said, “Topeka was one of the most well run training camps I have been to. They have a well-established coaching staff and the owner’s involvement with the team is a plus for the organization. I think the style of hockey I play and the coaching style will be a good match.” Tipping his hat to those who have helped him along the way, he said, “I would like to thank all my coaches over the years I have had. They all have been an important part of getting me to where I am today. I would also like to thank the Topeka coaches and the whole organization for giving me the opportunity to be a Topeka RoadRunner. I am looking forward to a great season.”
RoadRunner Head Coach/GM Scott Langer says, “Both Drew and Shawn are high end players in their age class. They will be looked at to contribute to a successful season.“ He adds, “This commitment for these young student athletes is indicative of the elite level of play they are capable of.”
When Vogler and Brennan arrive at Merrimack, four former RoadRunners will be there entering their senior year; forwards Brian Christie, Justin Hussar and Ben Bahe along with goalie Rasmus Tirronen.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)