Striking Oil: An interview session with Wooster Oilers defenseman/forward Tyler Groth and forward Trenton Mulnix as they commit to NCAA DIII.
March 15, 2017
The Wooster Oilers of the NA3HL are proud to announce that defenseman/forward Tyler Groth and forward Trenton Mulnix have both committed to NCAA DIII Trine University. Here is the behind the scenes interview session.
Q: Can you describe your time playing juniors and how it feels to end with your advancement to NCAA DIII?
Tyler: Junior hockey is not only a lifestyle, but a complete grind. It teaches lessons in life that no ordinary day would teach. Junior hockey has created the foundation to my mentality. Countless hours of hard work and dedication have finally paid off and is leading to greater opportunities to play NCAA DIII hockey. It’s a relief knowing the next chapter in your life is beginning to unfold after everything you have put forward.
Trenton: A lot of people I meet tell me that the best years of their lives are during high school. I believe they are wrong. Juniors have been the best time of my life. What’s better than waking up to play the game you love and nothing else? Building relationships with my teammates and learning how to deal with difficult situations is the basis of junior hockey. One thing I have learned in my second year, if I’m doing something well, others will follow and the team will succeed. Growing up, I never thought I would have the opportunity to play NCAA hockey. I feel so accomplished having family and friends remind me how proud they are. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of work to do and will not stop even when hockey does.
Q: Can you describe your experience playing for Wooster?
Tyler: What I learned most is people that just show up with skill tend to just play hockey. Those who show up with character become hockey players. Here in Wooster, you learn to develop a strong mentality. Competitive excellence and relentless effort lead us to the key, culture. From sun up to sun down, your focus is to become not only a hockey player, but an elite athlete. Focusing on getting six percent better each day.
Trenton: This season with Wooster has been different. When Coach Aaron first introduced this method of being “Above the Line”, I honestly was a little hesitant. When I learned hockey wasn’t just how good you were, but more importantly you needed the right attitude to succeed as a team, I knew I had to make a change fast. I focused on bettering myself immediately, but I more often found myself helping others make small adjustments. This helped us bond more and become more of a team. We started to win games. Without notice, I found myself reliant on the idea off the ice and I have now received more compliments on my character as person than I ever have before.
Q: What are you looking forward to in going to Trine and playing NCAA DIII hockey?
Tyler: I’m excited to be attending Trine University. My first choice was Trine University. I told coach Aaron I was setting out to do anything in order to get into Trine and that nothing would stop me. Trine is offering the opportunity to play college hockey at a high level while furthering my education in the medical field. I’m excited to be a part of the inaugural season for Trine University.
Trenton: I look forward to working in the field of Mechanical Engineering. I have a passion for it and I am excited to start working towards my future. I am also thrilled to be a part of Trine’s new hockey program.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the Wooster Oilers and also to potential players that want to come to play for Wooster?
Tyler: The Wooster Oilers organization is purely a cultured based environment. This helps unite the team as one. Coming into it, if you buy in and are willing to do your part every single day proving you want to develop and become an elite athlete, then you are in the right place. Coach Aaron will go to heavy measures in order to get exposure for you and he will get you where you want to go as long as you are on board doing what an athlete needs to do everyday. The personal commitment to one another from coach to player is huge when it comes to the development I encountered. Here in Wooster, we don’t just play hockey, we become hockey players.
Trenton: For anyone that has the opportunity to have Coach Aaron as their coach, I would highly recommend it. He has transformed juniors into a “hockey academy” focused on building skills that will last far beyond hockey. His developmental skills are as good as NCAA DI coaches in my opinion. I feel that I have matured as a hockey player. Also, the amount of exposure he can get you is amazing. Just look at this seasons NAHL skates. Seven different players from our team this year had NAHL opportunities. The stats speak for themselves.
Q: What will you miss the most about playing for Wooster?
Tyler: Living in Wooster has been a blast. My time in Wooster has passed by too quickly. Living the lifestyle of being a full time junior hockey player is what I will miss the most. I will also miss all of the 9a.m.- 5p.m. days with the team and the daily interaction with the community. I will always remember and do what I do, for the kids in the community.
Trenton: The thing I will miss most about playing in Wooster are my billets. They are so excited that I am going to play NCAA DIII hockey at Trine. They even have dreams about it! I will miss having great home cooked meals with them, playing dominoes with their friends, and Keith’s projects. There was never a dull moment.
Q: Is there anyone else you would you like to thank?
Tyler: I want to thank my youth coaches I have had through my life. They pushed me everyday knowing my mindset was to reach my goals without letting anything stop me. I want thank all of my friends and teammates that have competed with me and pushed me day in and day out along my journey. Also, I would like to thank all of my billets who graciously opened up their home to a complete stranger. Most of all, I want to thank my family. To my parents Larry and Kristi, you supported me every moment and have provided everything in order for me to have this opportunity. If it wasn’t for you, I would not have made it. I love you and thank you!
Trenton: I would like to thank my Lansing Spartans coaches Ryan Kosecki and Brandon Reed because without their help I would have never found the Oilers. Coach Val and Coach Aaron for all their hard work in getting me this college opportunity and for shaping me into a college hockey player. My billets Joyce and Keith Dewitz for generously welcoming me into their home with open arms. To Deb and Walt Conrad for pitching in all of their energy into the Oilers program and I want them to know that they are the nicest people I have ever met. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents Tom and Paula Mulnix for their countless hours spent at the rink cheering me on (loudly) and for their countless hours of hard work they put in just so they could pay for my hockey. Thank you and I love you both!