Thompson to play in NAIA

KIRKLAND LAKE - Another ex-Kirkland Lake Gold Miner is off to play in the U.S. College ranks.

Everett Thompson will be playing for his hometown Davenport University Panthers in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Panthers play in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Thompson played two season for the Miners with his breakout season coming this past year. Speaking with the Northern News from Grand Rapids, Thompson’s new coach Phil Sweeney says he is excited to have Thompson in the line up. He says he has known Thompson since Everett’s high school days and has constantly kept an eye on him. Sweeney adds he was able to watch Thompson play for the Miners on a number of occasions with the aid of the internet portal FastHockey.

As for what Thompson will bring to the table, Sweeney says Thompson’s style of game is perfectly suited for Panther hockey. The coach says his team plays a very aggressive style of game so he expects Thompson to fit right in.

As for Thompson he is excited to be playing college hockey, especially in his home town. It should be noted the University is only a short distance from Thompson’s home.

One other note, one of Thompson’s Panthers’ teammates also played here in Kirkland Lake. Defenceman Winston Hofer played for the Kirkland Lake Blue Devils/Gold Miners during the 2011/2012 season.

And for those unfamiliar with the NAIA, according to its website, The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. 

Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall college educational experience.  The student-athlete is the center of all NAIA experiences. Each year more than 60,000 student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports at NAIA member institutions.