GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Support for the Ferris State University hockey team came from far and near Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19 as the Alumni Association hosted pregame gatherings at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, site of the 2016 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five.
Among those taking part in Friday’s festivities was Val Passarelli from San Antonio, Tex., a 1996 graduate of the College of Education and Human Services. Passarelli was a freshman on Ferris Coach Bob Daniels’ first team, 1992-93, and went on to win four letters as a center for the Bulldogs. He is the general manager for Continental Motors, a manufacturer of airplane engine parts, and said that business had brought him to Dayton, Ohio.
“Any time I get to come back and see a game, it’s great,” Passarelli said. “I also came to a game earlier this year. Ferris gave me the chance to have a college career, so when I found out they were playing in the WCHA Final Five, I made plans to drive up.”
Passarelli was joined by his son, Tino, a top-tier Under-16 hockey player.
Other former Ferris hockey players who attended Alumni Association parties at the tournament included goalie Rob Granett, a 2015 College of Pharmacy graduate from Grand Rapids, Mich., and right wing Nick Scheible, a Big Rapids, Mich. native and resident who graduated from Ferris’ College of Business, in 2005.
Scott Frederick of Hersey, Mich., an Alumni Association Board member, was on hand for the Michigan Tech game Friday, along with his wife Kaye, who also attended the university. Frederick, a 1987 College of Business graduate, is the executive vice president for Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative, and played on Ferris’ basketball team.
“I make all the hockey games I can,” Frederick said. “Many of those in WPMC’s accounting department graduated from Ferris, and a number of our engineers graduated from Michigan Tech. We bring our office rivalry to the president’s box at the Ewigleben Ice Arena when the Huskies come to Big Rapids.”
Director of Alumni Relations Brandi Behrenwald said they were pleased to welcome a large number of supporters to the events.
“We enjoy each opportunity to get together with our alumni and other supporters, and celebrate the success of our university and athletic teams,” Behrenwald said. “It’s exciting that the Bulldogs won the WCHA Final Five, and we look forward to more thrills at the NCAA regional in St. Paul, Minn. this coming weekend.”
The Alumni Association plans a pre-game event at the Eagle Street Tavern beginning at noon CST Saturday, March 26, across the street from the Xcel Energy Center, where Ferris will play St. Cloud (Minn.) State in a semifinal matchup.
PHOTO CAPTION: Scott Frederick of Hersey, Mich. and his wife Kaye pose with Brutus, the Bulldog at the Alumni Association pregame event Friday, March 18. Ferris State University’s hockey team won the WCHA Final Five at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, and advanced to the NCAA Regional in St. Paul, Minn.