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The 2014 Class – In One Word … And Then A Few More

Mar 11, 2014, 5:01 PM EST

Jeff Jackson has been coaching hockey for 27 years, and he’s only ever seen one class as big as the Notre Dame hockey class of 2014. He had a team at Lake Superior State that began with a dozen and finished with nine. The Class of 2014 began with a dozen and will finish with 11. A class so large cannot possibly go unnoticed or without having left a mark on the program – and their coach.

“Seniors get tired of hearing your voice after a while, but I give them credit because this group’s been really good. I’m sure we’ve both gotten tired of each other at times, but because they’re such good kids and honest players, I think they all appreciate being here. They all appreciate everything Notre Dame has given to them and frankly, I think they’ve given a lot back. And it’s been a good group, because they all have different personalities, but they’re all unique in their own way. But they’ve all had a positive influence on me.” I then asked Coach Jackson if he could describe the class with one word: “One word to describe the whole class? That’s a tough one, because they’re all so different. Let’s just say that they’ve been impactful.” In celebration of their careers, I asked Coach Jackson to say a few words about each of the seniors individually. Here’s what he said.

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#1 Steven Summerhays: “Mature”

“Steven is a guy that’s taken big steps here in the last couple years, I think, maturity-wise. He’s gained a lot of confidence in how he plays the game. I think he plays with much more control now as a senior than he did when he first arrived here. He’s been a model student and citizen.”

#3 Shayne Taker: “Confident”

“Shayne’s a sensitive kid that wants to be a great player and he works hard at it. He’s got great offensive instincts and he’s defended well for us. I just love to see him play the game with a lot of confidence.”

#10 David Gerths: “Diligent”

“Just a hard-working guy that plays a gritty game for us. Quality kid that doesn’t say a lot, but he’s consistently got the job done.”

#11 Jeff Costello: “Gritty”

“True grit and character type of guy. The kind of guy who, as a coach, you love to have on the ice in almost any situation. He lays it all on the line every time he plays the game.”

#16 Mike Voran: “Positive”

“Mike’s an honest hockey player. He’s had a great career. He’s had some injury issues, but I think he’s been a real positive guy with the chemistry and the culture of the team. I think he’s a great team guy.”

#18 T.J. Tynan: “Catalyst”

“He’s been a catalyst here for four years. He’s got a big ticker. He gives it everything he’s got, every shift he’s on the ice—practice, games. He’s a warrior. He creates a lot with his ability and his intensity.”

#21 Bryan Rust: “Consistent”

“Bryan is a guy that I’ve learned to really appreciate every aspect of what he does. He’s probably the most consistent guy we’ve had here over the last four years. He had a little bit of a slump his sophomore year, but other than that, he’s a guy that’s extremely intelligent and I think he reads situations not just as a player on the ice, but in the locker room as well. He has a good feel for what’s going on. He’s real mature.”

#25 Kevin Lind: “Loyal”

“Kevin’s a guy that has taken big strides in his career here. I think he’s turned himself into a top-level defenseman. He’s a defensive defenseman and never complains about his role. He’s never been much of a power-play guy, but he does his job and he does it well.”

#28 Stephen Johns: “Passionate”

“Another warrior. A guy that’s passionate about the program and about playing the game. I don’t think I’ve had as physical a player as him, and I think that it goes hand-in-hand with who he is. He’s another guy that lays it on the line every time he plays.”

#29 Jared Beers: “Honest”

“Jared’s a good, honest kid and player. He’s a real key guy in the locker room. I think he’s a guy that everybody appreciates. He keeps it low-key, but he’s somebody that everybody likes and respects.”

#31 Joe Rogers: “Selfless”

“What can you say about Joe? He’s the ultimate representative of this program as far as what he does on and off the ice. I mean, he’s worked hard here for four years and never complained about his role, and probably could have, but he’s done so much for the local community, the ND community, the Michiana area and even beyond. He’s a very selfless kid, and that’s rare in today’s society.”

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