By Matt Mackinder
Jordan Prewitt is playing on a forward line this season with his two brothers.
OK, so Blake and Brett Podgorski aren’t blood relatives to Prewitt, but anyone who has seen the trio on and off the ice with the Toledo Cherokee would be hard-pressed to prove otherwise.
“Being on a line with Blake and Brett is unexplainable,” said Prewitt. “They really are my second and third brothers on and off the ice. We know each other very well and it's crazy because we know where each other are going to be on the ice at all times. We all three can score, but Blake tends to grind it out, I try and be the playmaker and Brett finds the back of the net.
“Sure, we have our ups and downs, but since we've been on a line, nothing seems to stop us from competing and outworking our opponent.”
The fact the Podgorskis-Prewitt line has been dubbed the “Monkeys” by Toledo players further adds to the chemistry that is reaching an all-time peak.
“We make everyone happy by doing the funniest things and wrestling with each other, stuff like that,” said Prewitt. “We all basically clown around and that's our persona – just always talking, always making jokes.”
Prewitt, an 18-year-old from Monroe, Mich., played high school hockey the past four years in his hometown – all on the Trojans’ varsity squad, including captaining the team his senior season in 2011-12. He said when the opportunity arose to play junior hockey, it was something he didn’t have to think twice about.
“I wound up with the Cherokee because it was near home, they have a great program and I knew it would develop me for future levels and give me a shot at the junior level,” said Prewitt. “Believe it or not, last season prepared me a lot for the NA3 because our coaches – Isaac Murphy and Jim Baker – prepared me for the next level by pushing me to be for the team and developing all my skills as much as possible.”
To date, Prewitt has seven goals and 14 points in 19 games with the Cherokee. He said he prides himself on the work of his line and the energy it brings on a nightly basis.
”When the team needs us the most, both me and my linemates know we need to produce momentum for the game at hand,” explained Prewitt. “We have our grinders, our playmakers and our goal scorers. I fit myself in the category of playmaker. I love making plays and at times, I pass the puck when I need to shoot.”
There are times, too, that if Prewitt is in a funk or showing signs of struggling, he harkens back to his early days on skates and his lifelong inspiration.
”My brother, Tyler, played a huge role in me starting ice hockey,” said Prewitt. “He was always my hero so, of course, I wanted to be just like him. At the age of four, I began my career as a hockey player. I pushed myself to be as fast as strong and overall as great of a player as he was. Now that I'm preparing my future, I always look back and put mental check marks on what he did and if I'm accomplishing as much as he did.”
Prewitt said he’ll take a hard, detailed look at this season when he has time – most likely, next spring.
“By the end of the season, I want to be able to look back at how I played before and how I played at the end of the year and hope to be better and more equipped as a player,” said Prewitt. “As a team, I hope we continue to develop and more importantly, play well enough to win our division and then take on the national tournament.”
And participating in “Monkey” business the whole way through.