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GRAND RAPIDS - On the surface Grand Rapids senior defenseman Jake Bischoff is a modest captain.
“I feel like I'm not very fast, I don't have the hardest shot,” says Grand Rapids senior defenseman Jake Bischoff, “but I just try to do all the little things right.”
Don't let him fool you, this blue-liner is one of the top players in Minnesota.
“He gets on the rink for practice or a game he just takes the whole level of play to another level,” says Grand Rapids head boys hockey coach Bruce LaRoque, “he can move the puck. He anticipates where to be where not to be. He can certainly recover and save you many times. He's just one of those special people and players.”
Jake is such a special player he's able to follow in his father's footsteps to play hockey at the University of Minnesota.
“It’s a huge honor,” says Jake, “just feel really blessed. Love the campus. Love the Mariucci. Mariucci is unbelievable. I've been a Gopher fan my whole life.”
And like dad who was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars, Jake heard his name called this summer by the New York Islanders.
“It was really special,” says Jake, “The whole town like texted me or congratulated me somehow.”Jake's not just talented but he's also the guy the ‘Hawks turn to when the going gets tough.
“Great guy, great leader loves everyone. Never puts anyone down,” says Grand Rapids freshman forward Jonah Bischoff, “If someone gets down he'll pick 'em up. He's unbelievable guy.”
Standing tall against adversity, a characteristic Jake was forced to learn as just a sophomore, when he lost his mother to cancer.
“It’s definitely hard. I think about her every day. Multiple times a day, all the time, she's always in your head. I know she's always there looking over me,” says Jake, “Probably got the best guardian angel out there.”
“I think about her every day. She helps me through my life a lot,” says Jonah, ““She was a great woman, I loved her and I still do.”
The Bischoff's battled through it, Jake became stronger and even learned to lead from the sideline after injury caused him to miss a month of this season.
“It’s really frustrating,” says Jake, “just try to be positive for the teammates. Be there for them. That's really all you can do.”
He's better now. Jake has helped guide the ‘Hawks to 10 straight wins including an unbelievable double overtime victory in the section 7AA semifinals.
“Give it all I got every night. Work my hardest,” says Jake, “I just try to make plays.”
And it's given Jake and the ‘Hawks a chance to reach high school goals they haven't yet in his career, just one win away from a trip to the x for state.
“Been here before, know how it feels to lose, definitely don't want to be there again,” says Jake, “We're gonna give it everything we got."