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Brent Schwarz – Class of 2011 Grad Shined on the Ice with Palmer Ridge and Michigan State

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Given that the members of this year’s senior class were in 6th grade when Palmer Ridge watched the Class of 2011 graduate, many of us likely wouldn’t remember the accomplishments of those student-athletes. However, some of Palmer Ridge’s finest athletes and moments came courtesy of members of that class and are definitely worth revisiting.

To accurately revisit the early athletic history of Palmer Ridge, we as a sports staff would be doing a grave injustice to omit the successes of the Palmer Ridge-Lewis Palmer hockey team, led in large part by goalie Brent Schwarz.

“It [playing hockey in high school] was a lot of fun. Some of my best friends came from that…. looking back, playing hockey for… our school district was one of my greatest memories I have, probably in my life, and for sure growing up in Monument.”

Hockey wasn’t just a sport for Schwarz, it was a classroom of sorts where he learned some valuable lessons, “…It taught me a lot outside of just the sport, how to compete, what losing was like, how to make sure mistakes don’t happen again…,” Schwarz said.

Even if Schwarz learned what losing was like while on the ice, he also achieved great success. “We won the state championship my junior year and my senior year.”

The back to back successes of a state championship didn’t come, however, without some heartbreak and hard work. “We lost it my sophomore year so I was pretty determined to do whatever it took to do whatever the year. I can’t really explain the countless hours I put into it all summer and all fall and just making sure that I was prepared and that I was not going to lose again, especially to a rival like that.”

A state championship is the ultimate goal a high school athlete can aim for, and achieving that goal emits feelings that can’t really be described. “Winning the first state championship was pretty surreal, and it was kind of a dream, and I couldn’t really believe it was happening. Winning the 2nd one was a lot of fun and I got to enjoy it a little more because I knew that moment wouldn’t happen probably ever again,” said Schwarz looking back.

Aside from the hockey stage, Schwarz had a unique experience as a high school student. “It was a little strange cause I was in the very first graduating class so we were the upperclassmen for three years, but it was a lot of fun we got to build the school character into what we envisioned it being and kind of create the culture we wanted with the staff which were phenomenal when we were there.”

Palmer Ridge has a great reputation for rigorous classes, fantastic extracurricular and generally preparing students for college. Schwarz had no hesitation in bringing this up. “Yeah without question….They did a good job of challenging me in academics and athletics to prepare myself for what I was fortunate to have at Michigan State University.”

As Schwarz transitioned out of high school, he tried his hand at hockey in another country. “I went up to Canada and played junior hockey for a little bit and things didn’t quite pan out how I had planned.”

This bump in the road led him to a more traditional route; college hockey. “Michigan State’s DII Club team gave me the best offer and I could start right away as a freshman coming in there and additionally they had everything I wanted from an academic standpoint…They were really good in the programs I was looking for …. so the mix between of social, athletics and academics really made it a no-brainer for me to go to Michigan State.”

Privileged enough to play college hockey, Schwarz took a moment to compare the game on the two different levels. “The competition was obviously a lot better playing DII club. You know, support was different at the two places, but at the end of the day, hockey is hockey and the goal is the same and my job was to not let anyone score.  I was fortunate to have both and I treasure both to this day and grew from both.”

Schwarz also achieved a similar level of success in the college game as he did representing Palmer Ridge.

“I was fortunate enough to win the national championship at Mich. St and be awarded first team All American which was really cool.”

Today, Schwarz has graduated from Michigan State and continued on to new journeys and new goals. “I am a pilot with the United States Navy and I am currently going through flight school down in Florida.”

The sports staff here at The Bear Truth congratulates Brent Schwarz on his athletic and academic achievements both as a student of Palmer Ridge and Michigan State and wishes him luck in all his future endeavors.

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Brent Schwarz – Class of 2011 Grad Shined on the Ice with Palmer Ridge and Michigan State