WATERFORD, MI – And the upward player movements continue for the Metro Jets.
Forward Branden Morganroth is the latest to make plans for next year as the 20-year-old Highland native will play for the ACHA Division I team at Oakland University starting with the 2012-13 season.
Morganroth was actually supposed to play for the Grizzlies this season, but an academic snafu set him back a year. Even so, he’s overcome that obstacle, is having a solid year in Waterfordand is looking forward to playing at OU this fall.
“They committed to me last June, but then in August, I got a letter that said I was not allowed to attend OU because in high school, I took online classes because of traveling for hockey and that those online classes didn't transfer over to OU,” said Morganroth. “I had no idea, so that's why I had to go back and play juniors again and make up those two classes at OaklandCommunity College.”
Morganroth has four goals and 10 points this season for the Jets, including a current four-game point streak heading into this weekend’s two-game series in Pittsburgh.
Jets coach Jason Cirone said that Morganroth came to camp with the team on a recommendation after he had only heard of Morganroth and had never seen him play.
“Branden has been a delight this season and he’s been through a lot,” said Cirone. “He’s gone from forward to defense and now back to forward, but not once has he complained. I’ve even had to sit him a couple games due to the fact we are so deep up front, but again, no complaints. He never asks why and has always put the team first. Those are the types of players you want to see succeed, not only in hockey, but in life.
“He’s played all five positions for us, and played them all extremely well, and would probably play goal if I asked him to.”
To be able to play at Oakland will be a homecoming of sorts as OU’s assistant coach, Nick Tomczyk, was an assistant coach when Morganroth played Midget hockey for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies.
“Tomczyk contacted me asking if I would be interested in playing for their school and of course, I couldn’t say no,” said Morganroth. “Oakland is the university I have wanted to go to since I was in high schoolI wanted to be able to go to school and play for an elite university close to home because in previous years, I lived out of state in Wyoming and also in Kalamazoo where not many friends or family could ever watch me play.
“Oaklandis a first-class program. It’s run flawlessly by the coaches and their staff members and it definitely compares to any NCAA D-I program. As for the team, it’s an awesome squad; they’re very talented and know how to win. They have been a winning team and ranked at the top nationally every year with national titles (2004, 2006 at the D-II level and 2007 at D-I level) to their credit. I couldn’t be more excited to begin my season there next fall and help them to pursue another national title.”
Morganroth said he has narrowed his academic major down to architectural engineering or something in the medical field. OU just enrolled its inaugural class in its new medical school last August.
Looking at the present, Morganroth is aiming to help get the Jets into the NA3HL playoffs for the first time in five years and to improve on his game to get it ready for the college slate.
“Jason and the Jets organization has helped me to focus on my defensive play and helped me to develop more skill to my all around game,” said Morganroth. “I have also learned to never give up until it is over and to go as hard as I can throughout practice and games to become better and better each time I step onto the ice.”
Oaklandcurrently has five former Jets on its D-I roster in defenseman Mike Corder (2009-11) and Jacob DeSano (2007-09) and forwards Art Dore (2007-08), David Merkle (2009-10) and Adam Novack (2007-09). Both Corder and Novack are former Metro captains.