04 March 2008

Rexburg Bulldogs compete against BYU, other college teams

This article originally ran in the March 4th edition of the Scroll.

BYU-Idaho students Doug Hatch and Andrew Curtis live to play hockey. So when they first arrived in Rexburg, they both signed up to play intramural hockey, and competed during the 2006-2007 season.

However, both Hatch and Curtis, as well as other participants, noticed that there were some things lacking about the program. They were bothered by rules that prohibited checking, and were disappointed that student hockey fans had to divide their support among several teams.

After intramural hockey's “American versus Canada” game, in which the best players in the league play an All-Star-type game, Hatch and Curtis noticed there were a lot of talented students.

“We just thought it would be awesome to structure a team and go play an official game against BYU's hockey team,” Hatch said.

Hatch managed to secure a sponsorship from Apex Alarm, who provided jerseys for the event. Hatch and Curtis then recruited other BYU-I students to play, and found there was enough interest to make the game a reality.

The newly-formed Rexburg Bulldogs played their first-ever game against BYU's team in March of 2007.

Their hockey appetite whetted, Hatch and Curtis began searching for a way to play other colleges more often. They contacted the American Collegiate Hockey Association, or ACHA, for more information on how to become a member. They also sent e-mails to the athletic directors of colleges in the area such as Utah State, the University of Utah, Air Force and Wyoming, and received a very positive response.

Hatch and Curtis, self-proclaimed co-vice presidents of the Bulldogs, spent the summer drumming up additional sponsorships and gaining ACHA membership. Travel and equipment costs for a hockey season are upwards of $20,000, so gaining the support of local businesses was important.

By the end of the summer, the Bulldogs, now a member of the ACHA, had a full schedule for the upcoming season and were practicing in Logan, Utah, every other weekend in preparation for the coming months.

The Bulldogs traveled everywhere from Provo to Missoula, Montana, and gained the respect of opposing coaches and teams wherever they went.

“We've had coaches tell us they've never seen such heart,” Bulldog Dustin Fadale said.

It's important to note that while the team is made up entirely of BYU-Idaho students, the Bulldogs are not an official BYU-I squad. They are affiliated with the school, but that is so they can play other college teams.

The Bulldogs are gaining student and teacher support.

“Hockey's a game of passion, I think,” Curtis said. “There's just something about hockey; the physicality, the speed.”

The Bulldogs finish their season at Montana State this Friday and Saturday night.

Tryouts for the upcoming season will be March 21-22.

For more information on the Bulldogs, including next season's schedule, visit their website at http://rexburgbulldogshockey.com.

Photo courtesy of Doug Hatch


Jimmy said...

All the canucks here are really excited about this, and I'm not kidding.

Anonymous said...

This is Andrew Curtis. The guy from the article. How did you get this article? How did we end up on someones random blogpage? Im not mad, just curious. I was searching for the online article in the Scroll and i couldn't find it and it lead me to your blogspot.

Brandon said...

Hey Andrew... this is my blog. The Scroll allows me to publish stuff I write for the paper on here.

The guys who run the website for the Scroll don't get everything out there on the site, though they're getting better.

Anonymous said...

Gotchya, well either way its pretty cool to see an article about us. Hopefully people will catch on and get into hockey. I did notice that your version of the article is a little different than my copy of the scroll....do they just tell you to rearange things? Like, the scroll got my quote wrong, and you didnt.

Brandon said...

Yeah when I submit stuff for Scroll it gets edited a few times... someone might have wanted to edit something for clarity and messed with your quote by accident. Sorry about that.