Marty Sertich always felt at home at Colorado College. Now, the 2005 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner feels an even stronger sense of community with his fellow Tigers.
For the first time, the hockey program has about a dozen former Tigers returning to campus this summer to use the El Pomar Sports Center, reunite with teammates and meet current players.
"It's a win-win," said CC assistant Joe Bonnett who helped start the effort with athletic director Ken Ralph. "Guys get to come back, check out their old campus and use the new facilities to prepare for the coming season. It's been great to see all the guys. Some guys have not been back since they played here."
Some of the players who came through town recently, working out for a week up to a month or just visiting friends and family, include Arthur Bidwill, David Civitarese, Nick Dineen, Tim Hall, Curtis McElhinney and Matt Zaba.
Jaden Schwartz is expected in August while Mark Stuart is also a possibility, Bonnett added. As alumni, access to the facility, which includes a new shooting room, a larger, renovated weight room and ice time at Honnen arena, is free, coach Scott Owens said.
The offering also lets the Tigers taking summer school courses meet some of the men in the photos on the team meeting room wall.
"I suppose it has been fun for the younger guys to meet the older ones," said Sertich, who lives in suburban Minneapolis. "It has been fun meeting the younger guys. I always follow the Tigers as best I can, so I know their names."
He is happy to prepare for the upcoming season while visiting nearby aunts, uncles and his grandmother. His 121 career assists are seventh all-time at CC with his 182 points at No. 12. He is the son of former CC great Steve Sertich and grandson of both Hall of Famer Tony Frasca and Mark Sertich, for whom the city rink in Memorial Park is named.
The EPSC underwent $27 million in renovations and expansion recently.
Sertich, 30, is preparing for a new team after his contract with Olten in Switzerland ended this past spring.
"It was a great three years," he said. "The fans were very passionate. We (he and his wife Becky) enjoyed the adventure."
He hopes for another opportunity either overseas or with the American Hockey League.
"I'm open to anything," he said. "I'm still having fun playing hockey and as long as I stay healthy, I will keep playing. I hope to stay in hockey as a player, coach or something with a youth association. I cannot imagine life without it."