NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — The Lone Star Brahmas are pleased to announce that forward EMack Bentley has committed to play hockey for Middlebury College in the 2018-19 season.
Bentley’s season was partially limited by injury, but his blazing speed and unrelenting energy were always welcome in the lineup. That speed and energy caught Head Coach Dan Wildfong’s eye at the Youngstown Phantoms’ camp last summer, and he invited Bentley to come to the Brahmas’ main camp.
Bentley came to that camp as a free agent and impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a spot on the team.
“I had talked to Dan at Youngstown and he invited me to camp,” Bentley said, “And I just tried to put my best foot forward every day and know that you had to work if you wanted to keep your job.”
The season spent with the Brahmas was valuable for Bentley, who did indeed put his best foot forward every day.
“I probably learned the most about hockey systematically this year,” he said. “Coach Wildfong and Hale are extremely detail-oriented, and I think that is part of what makes the Brahmas and their culture so successful. The intricate things you learn while you’re there about every aspect of the game is something that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Although Bentley technically has a year of junior eligibility remaining, he will take the knowledge gained this season with him to Middlebury College. It’s rare for players to play just one year in the NAHL before moving on to college, but Bentley is doing just that.
“The thing that attracted me to Middlebury the most is the academics you receive at the school,” Bentley said. “It is a world-class education with an unbelievable alumni network.”
With such an attractive academic component, the fact that Middlebury also has a hockey program is just the cherry on top. Bentley is aware of the hockey team’s lack of success in recent years, but is approaching that as a challenge, and a welcome one.
“They have a storied hockey history as well, but have struggled in recent years,” Bentley said. “Having said that, being a part of a turnaround and making a team a contender again is something that I think would be awesome to be a part of.”
To make that turnaround, Middlebury is going to need to find not only talent, but players with a drive to succeed. Signing Bentley is exactly the sort of thing they need to do.
Bentley plans to study economics while at Middlebury. He will report this fall and begin his college career,