AMARILLO, TX – The right words of encouragement from family, friends and coaches can help make that difference and ultimately achieve a goal that may otherwise not be within reach.
Those special people certainly made a difference to Amarillo Bulls defenseman Cameron Bartkoski and are one of the reasons Cameron says he is able to continue playing hockey at the next level.
Amarillo Bulls, proud members of the North American Hockey League, announced today (Tuesday) that defenseman Cameron Bartkoski has announced his NCAA College Commitment to Utica College, Division III UCHC.
“About four or five years ago I was playing Double A Hockey (in Dallas) so it’s not always been my realistic dream (to play NCAA hockey),” Bartkoski said. “But what helped was my parents pushing me and Rocky helping me and getting me to where I am today. Without those people, there is no way I could be here talking about my commitment.”
In 26 games with the Bulls, the Dallas, TX native has two goals and five assists for seven points. Last year Bartkoski played for Rocky Russo, when he was behind the bench of the Philly Little Flyers, and was able to get five goals, 22 assists for 27 points in 41 games. The 5-10, 176 pound defenseman had 11 points in 12 playoff games.
Bartkoski said one of the things that helped in his decision was the overall atmosphere of Utica College.
“I went up there for a visit and I got to see games and the campus,” he said. “They have atmosphere that is second to none just like we do here in Amarillo. It’s a loud crowd and a great place to play. They are very excited to have me and I am also very excited to be going there. I feel very humbled.”
Bulls Head Coach Rocky Russo couldn’t be happier for Cameron’s decision to play at the next level and get his education.
“I am very excited and proud of Cameron for earning this opportunity,” Russo said. “He has grown both as a person and a player over the past two seasons and will be a tremendous addition to Coach Heenan’s program both in the classroom and on the ice.”
Cameron Bartkoski becomes the third Amarillo Bulls player on the 2017-18 roster to announce his NCAA College Commitment joining defenseman Brendon Michaelian (Robert Morris University) and Austin O’Rourke (UMASS-Lowell). Bartkoski is the ninth overall joining Jason Brancheau (Ferris State), Brandon Bussi (St. Lawrence), Billy Duma (Air Force Academy), Luke Edgerton (Niagara University), Anthony Firriolo (Colorado College) and Brendan Furry (Niagara University).
The Amarillo Bulls are back in action on a four game road swing with the first two in Corpus Christi this weekend at American Bank Center against the IceRays. Fans can tune into the action live on Friday and Saturday on CBS Sports Radio 1440, online at www.amarillobulls.com and PPV with Hockey TV beginning with the Bulls Warm Up Show at 6:40 pm. The puck drop follows at 7 pm.
Hockey is back at the Budweiser Bull Pen in the Amarillo Civic Center on Friday, Mar. 9 and Saturday, Mar. 10 when the Bulls host Corpus Christi at 7 pm. Friday is the return of the Family Four Pack ($44) and Bring A Bud Pack ($22). Saturday is Bulls player parents night and sponsored by Amarillo Youth Hockey. The Bulls will wear special retro jerseys and have a live auction immediately after the game. Tickets are available at the Bulls Office located at 301 South Polk, Civic Center Box Office and all Panhandle Ticket locations including United Supermarkets or online at www.panhandletickets.com.