Jake Papesh commits to Bethel
The Utah Outliers are pleased to announce that Illinois native, Jake Papesh has committed to play NCAA hockey for Bethel University for the 2019-20 season.
The 6’ 3 defenseman played an integral role on the Outliers blueline last season. Jake's hard nose style combined with his offensive play was a big key to the team's success. Papesh finished the season with 31 points which was tied for the lead among defenseman.
Papesh made his recent commitment to Bethel after taking a campus tour at the conclusion of his Outliers season. "After visiting Bethel for a couple days I felt like the school was one big family. The smaller class sizes are great and its considered a very good school academically. On the hockey side of things, everything was very professional from the coaching to the training facilities. I believe Bethel is the best place for me to continue my growth as a person and hockey player."
When asked about his season with the Outliers, Papesh had this to say, "After spending two years in the NOJHL I decided to become an Outlier. I was unsure what to expect playing in the WSHL and with the Outliers but I am glad to say that going to play for Utah was one of the best decisions of my life. The training center where the team workouts every day is one of the best in all of Junior hockey. This is paired with an hour and a half of intense on-ice practice each day. These two things do not make a great Junior team though. What makes the Outliers is the team’s unbelievable staff. Coach Taylor and Coach Balko truly do everything they can to help players succeed and move them to the next level. From the ownership to the coaches, this is a first class organization and I am happy to have had the opportunity to play here."
Assistant Coach, Austin Balko was thrilled to hear about Papesh's NCAA commitment. "Jake earned this opportunity with a ton of hard work and a commitment to develop his game. He came to our team as a defensive defenseman and really grew into a hybrid defenseman by the end of the season. His offensive game really flourished over time and he ended up being a big contributor on our back end."
Head Coach, Paul Taylor believes Papesh will continue to build his game at the NCAA level. "Jake is a hard worker, intense competitor and a consistent performer. He is a player that gives you a hundred percent each shift and is reliable in all situations. He has really become an all-around defenseman that can add value on both sides of the puck. I expect him to be a strong addition to Bethel's lineup and help strengthen their blueline."
The Bethel Royals compete in the MIAC division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Papesh will join Outliers teammate Zak Albers at Bethel next season.
We wish Jake all the best as he enters college hockey and look forwarding to following his career!