BRISTOL, R.I. – Pentucket High School alumnus Ian Mitchell is not far removed from high school, though has already left a lasting mark on Roger Williams University athletics.
Upon graduating from Pentucket last June, Mitchell had a big decision to make: commit to a junior hockey team and postpone his education, or take his 3.9 high school GPA to college immediately and look to be involved in collegiate athletics.
Mitchell chose the latter.
“It was a tough decision and I was split,” he said. “I signed up for a junior hockey team and I had to decide one or the other, but I chose to go to college. It’s hard to play on a varsity team but it was a lot of fun playing good hockey here.”
Mitchell would land at Roger Williams University and would play on its club hockey team. While the level of competition among club athletics in colleges are varied, Roger Williams takes its hockey team very seriously.
“The difference between varsity and club sports is largely funding,” said head coach Ed Silva. “A lot of institutions would rather have club teams because it wouldn’t cost them as much. We run our team as a Division III program.”
Mitchell, accustomed to high school level hockey, had a lot of adjusting to do upon getting to Bristol.
“Everyone was really big,” he said. “There were a lot of really big people who were real quick. Everything went up a level from high school. I was one of the biggest kids in high school, but now I am playing against much older, manlier guys.”
Roger Williams finished its season with a 10-8-3 record. Mitchell finished second on his team in points with 12 goals and 13 assists. Finishing three points ahead of him was only junior Jared Rizo.
“He did well,” Silva said. “He had an immediate impact and was a top-six forward right away. He played on the top line right away for most of the year and was put on the second line after break to make the line stronger.”