Cadillac Native Waits to Ref Hockey State Finals
CADILLAC – Cadillac native Ryan Pendrick has quickly established himself as a respected high school hockey referee in northern Michigan.
A seven-year hockey veteran referee, Pendrick, 22, began officiating hockey in 2013 and reffed the previous two Detroit Red Wings training camps in Traverse City. Pendrick has also become a well-regarded high school referee and received high ratings from area coaches that afforded him the opportunity to officiate the 2020 MHSAA Division 2 state final.
“I actually texted the supervisor of the schedule here. I texted him, asking him like, ‘Hey, is this real? You know, did I really get selected,’” Pendrick said. “It was really kind of a surprise to me because I wasn’t expecting to be chosen for that game at such an age.”
Pendrick is considered one of the youngest referees ever chosen to officiate a MHSAA state final. But just two days prior to officiating the championship game at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth on Saturday, March 14, the MHSAA halted winter postseason tournaments due to the coronavirus.
“It’s the final game for all these seniors, all these kids that have worked so hard to make it that far,” Pendrick said. “There are a lot of people watching you usually. They really fill that arena up in Plymouth down there every year.”
Pendrick says he hopes to receive the opportunity again, but understands the reality of the situation.
“A surreal feeling being selected this age,” he said. “I mean, there’s really nothing I can do. And there’s nothing any of us can do, I mean it is what it is kind of a thing. I mean it would definitely be a bummer, and I would hope I could maybe, you know, work hard next season to possibly get selected you know to do it again or I don’t know exactly how they’re going to go about that for people that were selected this season, but I know it’d be awesome.”