June 23, 2010 - Austin Morse and Brad Pizzey are getting out their ice skates as they head to the Meijer State Games of Michigan this weekend.
The two Wolves were selected to play for the South regional team, one of the eight hockey teams to compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the Olympic-style games.
"I was really excited because I would be playing with the best players around the state of Michigan," said Morse.
|Morse (click for larger version)|
Pizzey was also excited when he heard the news he had been selected.
"I wanted to go to the tournament right then because I was really anxious to start playing again," he said.
Both had been approached by Clarkston Varsity Hockey Coach Bryan Krygier to tryout.
|Pizzey (click for larger version)|
"I think it is a good opportunity for them to play against the best high school hockey players in the state," Krygier said.
"They are talented. They have good skills. They are disciplined and how they present themselves is a big part of it as well," he added. "I think they are going to contribute on the scoreboard as well."
Both will assist in their main positions - Morse as a forward and Pizzey as a right wing.
Morse and Pizzey have played hockey since they were young kids.
"When I started playing I didn't expect to play in an Olympic-type setting like the state games," admitted Morse. "I just played for fun."
"This is definitely one of the highlights of my hockey career," said Pizzey. "A lot of scouts will be there. It could get me onto a junior team or something like that."
They had practice during the weekend and a scrimmage to get ready for this weekend.
"It's going to be stiff competition," admitted Pizzey. "I am going to do my best."
"It's going to be a really good competition," added Morse. "Each team is going to be equally as strong. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Morse begins his senior year at Clarkston High School in the fall and is already thinking about his future.
"It would be nice to play college hockey," he said. "But if nothing comes around I will stick with my academic studies."
He plans to go to either the University of Michigan or Michigan State to study Bio-Chemistry or Pre-Medicine.
Pizzey is a junior in the fall and will continue to work on his game for the winter season.
Both will have their parents, Bob and Stacy Pizzey and Randy and Susan Morse, cheering them on at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids at the games.
Thirty-one states are conducting or organizing statewide sports festivals known as the Meijer State Games.
The event is a Olympic-style multi-sport festival reflecting the Olympic ideals of sportsmanship, fairplay, perseverance and respect among athletes.
This is the first year for the Meijer State Games of Michigan and they offering athletes 15 sports to compete in. More than 90 sports are offered nationwide.
Like the Olympics, the State Games of Michigan will have a Parade of Athletes, Lighting of the Cauldron and experience great entertainment.
The opening ceremony is Friday at 7 p.m.
The games are held Saturday and Sunday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.
The semi-final games are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. The final game is Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $15 for adult, $10 for children ages 2-12, free for children under two.
For more information, visit www.StateGamesofMichigan.com.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.