Topeka defenseman Champagne makes NCAA DI commitment
March 17, 2014
By Arch Ecker, Topeka RoadRunners
The Topeka RoadRunners hockey club of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) is proud to announce first year defenseman Cody Champagne has made his NCAA Division I college commitment to skate for the University of Alabama-Huntsville beginning in Fall 2014. The UAH Chargers compete in the WCHA.
Playing in his first year with the RoadRunners, the 5’11” 190 lb. defenseman has established himself at both ends of the ice. At the time of his commitment, he leads the team’s blueliners with 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists). He was also one of four teammates selected to represent Topeka at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in February, where he registered an assist in the two games.
A native of Brookfield, CT, Champagne is a product of the Avon Old Farms HS program where he put up 16 points (4 goals, 12 assists) in his senior year. Notably, in 28 games, he was not assessed a single penalty. He appeared in 3 preseason games with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the USHL before finding a home in Topeka.
RoadRunner Head Coach / GM Scott Langer says of Champagne, “Cody really dedicated himself this season to becoming a well-rounded defenseman. He is very good athlete that will excel at the next level.” He added, “Cody possesses a high end ability to skate along with a very good hockey IQ.”
Asked about choosing a major, Champagne replies, “As of right now, I do not have a major chosen. I am still looking through what UAH has to offer.” He adds, “One major that I've looked into quite a bit is Exercise Physiology. I have always been interested in the body and how exercise and physical activity affect the body. I am still doing some research on what else they have to offer so I can choose a major that I will enjoy studying throughout my four years at UAH.”
He won’t be alone when he arrives in Huntsville. His current RoadRunner teammate Tyler Poulsen committed to UAH earlier this year. “Having a teammate like Tyler committed to UAH was a huge help. It played a part in my decision but I chose UAH because I want to be a part of a program that has a lot of opportunity, and right now UAH has the most opportunity available in college hockey. I spoke with Tyler multiple times about why he made his decision to commit to UAH. He had positive things to say about the coaching staff. At the end of the day I wanted to be happy. Knowing I'm going to spend the next four years at a school like UAH is an unbelievable feeling.”
With six games remaining on the RoadRunners schedule and playoffs beginning in April, Champagne remains focused on the task at hand. “Securing my college plans is obviously a huge weight off my shoulders. My mindset since the beginning of the season has always been having a successful year with this team. My mindset isn't really going to change much because the focus is still on the team and our success. College has always been on my mind and now that my plans are set it's going to allow me to put that in the back of my mind and focus even more on the team and how we are going to finish off this season.”
There are many people he acknowledges for their part in his journey. “I would like to thank all of my family, coaches, and friends. My Mom and Dad were very supportive through this process. They wanted me to be happy and left the decision all up to me. Also, all my coaches over the years have been very helpful. Coach (Scott) Langer had plenty of great words about the UAH program and the coaching staff which ultimately played a huge role in my decision.”
Champagne is the fourth member of the 2013-14 Topeka RoadRunners with his college plans secured, joining Tyler Poulsen (Alabama-Huntsville), Drew Vogler (Merrimack), and Shawn Brennan (Merrimack).