By: John Raffel
Portland hockey player enjoys unique career
Portland doesn’t have its own hockey team, but this doesn’t mean one of its students, Jared Thomas, has to miss out on one of his favorite sports.
Thomas, of Portland High School, is a junior forward and assistant captain on the Holt co-op team, which plays its home games at the Capital Centre Summit in Dimondale, outside of Lansing. He’s been on the team three years.
Thomas started playing in hockey when he was 3 years old.
“My mom played hockey when she was a teenager and I kind of followed along in the family,” Thomas said.
As of early December, Thomas hasn’t scored a goal yet. But he has five assists.
“I enjoy having a team that is so tight together,” he said. “Every team I’ve played for, we’ve been good friends.”
Thomas also golfs at Portland. But being a hockey forward or center is his 100 percent focus at the moment.
“I’m pretty good at skating,” he said. “I’m good at seeing everything going on on the ice. If I have to send someone to go to the puck, I’ll verbally tell them that.”
Holt was slightly below .500 during Thomas’ freshman season and slightly above .500 last winter.
“We’re on track to finish well above .500,” Thomas said. “We’re doing pretty good right now.”
Rob Husulak is coaching the Holt co-op team, which is officially called the Mid-Michigan Marauders.
After the team’s first six games, the Marauders are 4-2.
“Jared has been an integral part of our team,” Husulak said. “He’s a very good hockey player. He is a great athlete. He has a lot of experience through Lansing travel club hockey programs. He’s had a lot of success throughout travel. That’s transferred very well into high school hockey. He’s a complete player. He does everything well. He’s one of our best shooters. He has a very good hockey mind and is a two-way player. He’s very strong offensively and defensively.”
Thomas hinted he may play the sport after high school.
“Maybe I’ll play Division III somewhere, someplace small,” he said.