Dau commits to Air Force AcademyRyan Dau said it was an opportunity he just couldn’t pass up. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 175-pound high school senior will take his considerable hockey and academic talents to the Air Force Academy in Colorado beginning in the fall of 2013.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
Ryan Dau said it was an opportunity he just couldn’t pass up.
After leading the Raider hockey team in scoring this season with 20 goals and 21 assists and earning All-State honorable mention, and playing three years with Team Wisconsin, the 6-foot, 1-inch, 175-pound high school senior will take his considerable hockey and academic talents to the Air Force Academy in Colorado beginning in the fall of 2013.
Dau gave his verbal commitment to Air Force coach Frank Serratore the day after Easter. Serratore had visited Dau at his family’s Hudson home the previous Friday to extend the offer and Dau said it didn’t take long for him to make a decision.
“I took the Easter weekend to think about it, and I called him up Monday and accepted,” Dau said. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m really looking at the education side. Hockey is great and I want to keep playing but I’m also looking forward to the education I’ll be getting there.”
Known as an intelligent player on the ice, Dau also sports a 3.88 grade point average in the classroom and said he plans on studying business management at Air Force. He said one of the upsides to his decision was the opportunity to step directly into a job serving his country at the conclusion of his studies.
Following his four years of eligibility, Dau will have a service commitment of five years. He said Coach Serratore told him that not all cadets serve in a fighting capacity, and that he himself had attended Air Force and served his five year commitment coaching hockey.
“It’s a great honor,” Dau said. “Even if I don’t go over there’s so much more I can do to help our country out. I can be anywhere across the U.S. and the world doing my job. It’s exciting.”
Dau will spend the next two years playing junior hockey before attending the Air Force Academy in the fall of 2013. He has already received a tender from the Alaska Avalanche of the North America Hockey League and is waiting to see if he is chosen in next month’s United States Hockey League draft.
“Hopefully I’ll get drafted, it depends on how the USHL tryouts go,” he said. “If not I’ll probably go with the NAHL up to Alaska. Coach Serratore said he develops a lot of his players there.”
Raider hockey coach Mike Stoskopf said Dau is the first Hudson player to commit to an NCAA Division I program while still in high school. Former Raiders Davis Drewiske, Jake Drewiske, Andy Bohmbach and Pete Talafous all received Division I offers while playing at the junior hockey level.
“We are all so happy for Ryan,” Stoskopf said. “He has the passion, desire and love for the game that motivated him to do all the extra things you have to do when no one is looking to get to that level. He has earned it, and to serve our country at the same time is a great combination.”
Dau said he wanted to thank Stoskopf and assistant Raider coach Chris Dove, as well as Dean, Pete and Jax Talafous for helping him reach his goal of playing Division I hockey.
“It was between my sophomore and juniors years working with those guys that I really improved from them pushing me to get better,” he said.
Dau, who said he consider other schools, said he’s already comfortable with his decision to attend the Air Force Academy.
“Obviously it’s a life changing thing,” he said. “My goal all along has been to get a Division I scholarship. But it wasn’t that stressful. They made it easy on me.”