OXFORD, MI – Nolan Chapman hasn’t been on SportsCenter, but he’s pretty close.
In the most recent issue of ESPN HS, a high school-themed version of ESPN The Magazine, the sports conglomerate ranks the top 24 high school hockey players in the state of Michigan.
Chapman is listed on the list’s Fourth Team. Not too shabby for a kid who sees himself as “the goofy and annoying kid on and off the ice and trying my best to be a captain on the ice.”
“Being featured in ESPN is one of the biggest privileges I've ever had,” said Chapman. “To me, this shows that our team has a bunch of kids with this capability and talent. Who knows if this will get me noticed by schools and juniors, but I guess we'll just wait and see.”
This season with the Wildcats, Chapman leads the team in scoring and is second in overall OAA scoring with 15 goals and 35 points in 17 games – better than two points per game.
“Nolan is a very talented player and his recognition from ESPN shows that Oxford can produce big-time talent,” said OHS head coach Dave Hague. “Nolan has been a kid who’s been here for three seasons and has taken huge strides each year. Most of the guys on that ESPN list have already committed to NCAA Division I teams or top-level USHL and NAHL programs. It will be exciting to see where Nolan lands next season."
Chapman said that while the ESPN mention is an individual accolade, he knows he couldn’t have done it alone.
“The hockey program here at Oxford has come from the bottom to one of the most premier teams in the state,” said Chapman. “I feel like being on the team has improved my on-ice skill and I feel like our coaches are one of the main reasons I've had this success playing hockey. Hockey has always been one of my main focuses in life and I'd love to continue playing until I can't anymore.”
Playing Lake Orion in December was a highlight for Chapman and he’s hoping for more positives as the regular season hits the home stretch.
”In that Lake Orion game, it seemed like the whole city was watching us,” Chapman said. “That right there should tell you how far we’ve come as a program.”
ESPN certainly took notice.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Forward Alex Hoffman, a 2008 OHS graduate, has moved on to play for the Division I ACHA team at Oakland University.
Hoffman currently has 13 goals (tied for second on the Grizzlies) and 21 points in 29 games.
After graduating from Oxford, Hoffman spent a season in the Eastern Junior Hockey League with the Hampton Roads Jr. Admirals and is now a junior at OU.
Hoffman also played briefly at NCAA Division III Nichols College in Dudley, Mass.
For more information on the Oxford High School varsity hockey program, please visit www.OxfordHockey.com.