Pacific Ridge Hockey Club a remarkable value for high school hockey
After four seasons as a “blended team,” Pacific Ridge Hockey Club (PRHC) is now “pure.”
All players attend the same school, Pacific Ridge School (PRS) in Carlsbad. The team is in the vanguard of a new movement on the West Coast.
Hockey in Southern California continues to thrive and grow. With this growth, talented players have typically had two options – play club at home without recognition, or leave home to pursue hockey at the highest levels elsewhere.
The Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) is now an important, additional option. Since its inception, the ADHSHL has produced national high school champions in Division I as well as roughly 100 notable alumni in the NCAA, ACHA, EHL and other top leagues.
Building on that success, the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) Prep Division was formed two years ago. This year, it has 10 teams competing in the NAPHL showcase tournaments with teams from around North America.
In short, competitive high school hockey is becoming option No. 1 for Southern California players striving to reach the next level.
Within this context, PRHC provides its players a unique value – excellent academics paired with excellent Division I hockey in an independent day school three miles from a home rink (Icetown Carlsbad). The program ensures balance between academics, hockey and family life.
“At Pacific Ridge, we believe balance is important in order for students and athletes to excel. The hockey players who have applied to our program are definitely drawn to that idea,” said Jennifer Bjornstad, the school’s director of enrollment.
Playing hockey for their school also holds appeal for players, who form deeper bonds with teammates and get to represent their school as athletes.
“This is just the beginning,” said Juan Trevino, head coach and student support specialist at PRS, referring to the team’s impressive path to last year’s CAHA state championships and joining the NAPHL.
“Our goal is to be the best. There are always opportunities to improve the program, but we know we’re on the right path.”
— Todd Cadieux
(Jan. 3, 2020)