Most Viewed Stories
- Vista Ridge claims boys’ track and field team title for school’s first champion
- TCA survives to win 3A soccer semifinal in OT
- Ramsey: Colorado girls’ soccer needs more yellow cards to mellow play
- Coronado’s Roth, Discovery Canyon’s Spalding, Canon City’s McCoy dominate
- Air Academy pounded in 4A boys' lacrosse final
Recruiting technology: Hockey players head down different path
Junior level often option before college
The Gazette takes a look at how the Digital Age has added to the increasing competition to get noticed in the world of college athletics.
The series began Sunday and ends Wednesday, national signing day.
- Internet changes off-field game dramatically for coaches, players
- Hockey players go down different recruiting path
- Instant access helps Air Force in "intelligence gathering"
- Technology changes experience for AFA star Michael Lyons and younger brother
While plenty of high school student-athletes prepare to sign national letters of intent Wednesday to take their talents to college, another group looks to take its athletes in a different direction.
David Dziezawiec, a junior at Air Academy, plays hockey for the AAA Rampage U18 team in Monument.
Like many high school hockey players, Dziezawiec won’t sign a letter of intent as a senior. In fact, if things go the way Dziezawiec hopes, he might not even be attending Air Academy next year.
As a hockey player at the highest level in the Colorado Springs area, Dziezawiec is hoping to get drafted by a junior hockey team in May, moving to that team’s hometown and attending his senior year at a different school. That will give the Kadet a chance to expose himself to more scouts, whether they be college or professional.
“I’m looking to play juniors,” Dziezawiec said. “I hope to get drafted and then get a commitment to college.”
He’d also love if those colleges brought him back to Colorado.
“I really want to go to Colorado College or Denver so my parents can come to my games,” Dziezawiec said. “They’re the teams that will scout me the most. I also practice at the Air Force field house.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound defenseman already has tried out for the U.S. Hockey League and went to tryouts for the Canadian Hockey League when he was 14. He won’t try out for the CHL again, because playing there will hurt his NCAA eligibility. But the first time there he picked up plenty of experience, including being paired with Ryan Murray, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft.
“He’s so smart,” Dziezawiec said. “I learned a lot from him.”
Dziezawiec recently started a profile on rinknet.com but isn’t sure how much it will help. And he isn’t relying on it. He's getting assistance from Air Academy to educate himself about which colleges might best fit him and knows that being seen in person is the best chance of being recruited.
“Scouts go to a lot of our games,” he said. “That’s mostly where they’ll see me.”