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06/14/2011 2:55 AM -
Ridgedell will join Austin Balko, Andrew Ketterer, Nic Gualano, and Trevor Erickson at St. Mary’s.
“Coach (Bill) Moore and St. Mary’s, were looking size and a physical presence on the ice, Tyler will give them both, he’s be a perfect fit for what they’re looking for he’s a big, strong, mean kid who knows how to hit and create space for his linemates and being able to play with a lot of his old teammates will be a big help in making the transition to college”.
-Rhinos Head Coach Cory Herman
“I’m pumped to have another Rhino in the bunch, especially Ridge, someone who was in the WSHL when i was a rookie. I’ve known him since he was a young 16 year old scorer...now he is a 21 year old monster. I remember more than anything grabbing him by the front of the jersey and yelling at him to pick his game up and instantly he took off and didn’t look back. Our coaches are very excited to have him come to SMU, where he will be a tank”.
-Austin Balko SMU ’14 & Ex Rhino
Why St. Marys?
I decided on St. Mary’s because I felt like they really wanted me, certainly being able to play with Balks (Balko), Ketts (Ketterer), Swift (Erickson), and Gualano again had an impact also, but I think they wanted me for my style of play.
How did the recruiting process with St. Mary’s go?
Great, I had spoken to a few schools and Coach Herman told me that St. Mary’s was interested and I had spoken to Coach (Ryan) Egan and he knew me from when he used to coach junior is San Antonio, I also visited with Coach Moore at the showcase and again at Nationals.
During Nationals I had the chance to tour the campus and really liked it, and the tutoring set up they had was really good and I’m sure I’ll be needing that after being out of school for a few years now”.
Think you’re well suited for the college game?
I think so, I work pretty hard on and off the ice and I think that’s a pretty good philosophy at any level.
I’m sure there will be an adjustment period for me but hitting and playing well defensively are all about effort and I think no matter what, I can always help the team doing that.
What’s you family’s impression of it all?
Really excited, my uncle told me he thinks I’m the first person from Louisiana to play college hockey, I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I’m sure there probably haven’t been many if not.
Looking back at your time in El Paso did things turn out how you had hoped or expected?
Things started a little shaky for me early on because I had always been the scorer on every team until I got to El Paso, but I don’t think it could have ended any better.
Herm turned me into a better player, he taught me to better understand my role on the ice, I’m a more complete player now because of Herm.
The only thing I would have changed about my time with the Rhinos is I would have come sooner.
It’s kind of hard to imagine I won’t be going through another Rhinos training camp, or another one of Herm’s practices.
I remember at Nationals before we went out for warm-ups for the finals Ketts came over to me before I went out on the ice and told me to “take it all in, because you’re playing your last game of Juniors as a Rhino” and it really started to sink in a little after that but I’ll always stay close to the program and I’ll be working out during the summer at the RTC (Rhinos Training Center) and hopefully making it to the alumni game each year.