It has been a few long years in the making, but Pete Sweetland is finally going to be able to play hockey for Penn State.
Sweetland will begin playing this fall.
Sweetland, a 2009 graduate of Pennsbury Senior High School in Pennsylvania, spent the past two seasons out of school, pursuing his hockey dream at the junior level. His journey has taken him to a season in Syracuse, N.Y., followed by a one-year stop in Burlington, Vt.
Playing the 2010-11 season as a member of the Green Mountain Glades, Sweetland started getting noticed by some Division I schools, leaving the 20-year-old one step closer to his goal.
“I had an offer from Army, but a lot of the schools I had talked to wanted me to play an extra year in juniors after this season before they offered me a scholarship, such as Vermont, and Colgate,” said Sweetland.
“I had been talking to Penn State previously as a backup plan when they were still a club team, but when I heard they were going Division I back in September that really piqued my interest. I have been going to Penn State for a couple of years now and really love it there, and I also have a lot of friends from high school there right now.”
Talking with Icers’ coaches Scott Balboni and Josh Hand, Sweetland decided Penn State was the place for him, and committed to play in State College come next fall.
“I was really just tired of playing juniors, that whole lifestyle,” admitted the 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman. “I wanted to get on with school and everything.”
Though he has not yet talked with new head coach Guy Gadowsky, Sweetland is coming up to State College in May for his advising meeting, and will meet Gadowsky in person.
Sweetland was sixth on his team in scoring, netting three goals and dishing out 21 assists, good enough to tie him for 14th in the league in scoring for defenseman with 24 points. He classifies himself as an offensive defenseman, someone who really thrives on the powerplay - skills that should be music to the offensive-minded Gadowsky’s ears.
While the 2011-12 hockey season is a way off, and will be a transitional year, the Newton, Pa native is already looking ahead.
“I'm beyond excited actually, I can’t wait for the season to start and I just want to get back to playing hockey.”