This Q&A was in the Buckeye gameday program vs. Miami Dec. 11
Hometown product Jeff Michael had his eye on Ohio State since moving to the Columbus suburb of Hilliard, Ohio, in elementary school. The freshman goalie was a standout in the junior leagues, playing for the North Bay Skyhawks. There he earned the NOJHL Wayne Chase Memorial Award for leading the league in goals-against average. He was also honored with a spot on the second all-star team. Michael spoke about his experience in Canada, his family’s collegiate allegiances and his high school business venture.
Coming from just down the road in Hilliard, how does it feel to finally be a Buckeye?
“It’s definitely a dream come true. Coming from down the road and growing up here watching Ohio State and the Columbus Blue Jackets play, it’s dream come true to play here.”
How was the experience in Canada?
“Playing 11 hours from here in North Bay, living away from home and playing in a different country was a great experience. It is a great country with great people up there. It was definitely one of best times of my life. I would gladly do it again. “
Being from Michigan originally, is your family made up of Buckeye fans or Wolverine fans?
“There’s a big mix. I grew up in Detroit and didn’t move here until fourth grade. I’ve lived in Michigan longer than I’ve lived in Ohio. Living here the past eight years has turned my family into big Ohio State fans. When it comes to hockey, it’s all Ohio State. I still have family in Michigan who are Wolverine fans though.”
Speaking of collegiate allegiances, is it true your sister is a student at ‘That School Up North’?
“My sister is a Wolverine. She’s my twin, but she’s actually a sophomore up there. When I went to Canada last year, she was a freshman at the University of Michigan. They have a really good music program, so she ended up there. There’s not really a big rivalry. She’s a big Buckeye fan when it comes to hockey.”
Many people consider the goalie position as one of the most important in sports. Do you agree?
“It’s always a team effort. Everybody contributes their parts to get a win. If all of the wheels on the bus aren’t rolling together, then you aren’t going anywhere. It’s a team sport. And there’s pressure on every position. Nobody wants to make mistakes that could cost you a game. That’s why we practice to get to the top of our game.”
What are you majoring in?
“I’m majoring in business, but still considering accounting.”
Do you feel ahead of the curve after running a business in high school?
“I would probably have to say yes. For four years I owned and operated a landscaping business that did a lot of maintenance. I got into my fair share of business experiences in the real world that will help me out in the future.”
Speaking of the future, what do you expect from the Buckeyes for the rest of the season?
“I expect us to keep getting better and to improve each day. Our goal is to make it to the NCAA tournament. Then there is the national championship, but that is every team’s goal every year. That’s definitely what our eyes are on.”