A naturally gifted athlete, Pallen Brooks has been a great addition to the Charlotte Rush USPHL Premier roster. He will be equally as valuable to a brand-new program at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania this fall.
Brooks, a native of Littleton, Colo., discovered hockey at a young age and has played it at the top levels ever since. How he got there came from an unusual source.
“I got started in hockey because of my youth soccer coach,” recalled Brooks, in an e-mail interview. “His son played hockey, so I wanted to try it too.”
Brooks played AAA hockey at the Tier 1 Elite Level from U11 to his first season of U18 becoming accustomed not only to the top levels of play, but the long trips that are the norm in junior and college hockey.
While he has excelled on the ice, hockey is just one of the sports Brooks tested and loved in his youth years.
“I played varsity lacrosse for my high school and I played just about every sport growing up, such as flag football, basketball, soccer and I even raced BMX,” said Brooks.
Brooks first made his move from youth hockey to the USPHL with the South Shore Kings last season, splitting time between the NCDC and Premier level teams. He collected a total of eight goals and 22 points with the Kings, before deciding to make the trip to North Carolina this season.
“[Rush Head Coach] Trevor Jewell reached out this summer and Charlotte sounded like a great spot to live and I knew it was a great program,” said Brooks. “I knew I could move on from this team and that they could help turn me into the player I wanted to be.”
The moving on part has been looked after already as Brooks recently committed to be one of the pioneers with the Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, signing on to be a member of the school’s inaugural season of NCAA Division 3 hockey beginning in the fall of 2021.
Brooks is eligible to play another season of junior hockey, but the draw of being among the first hockey players at Arcadia and get on with his post-secondary education prompted him to make the early commitment.
“I am definitely excited to get to college,” said Brooks. “My education is very important to me, so I am excited to get back in the classroom and start learning again.”
Like so many, visiting the school was a primary selling point for this player.
“I love the campus at Arcadia. When I visited the school, I fell in love with it. For hockey, it is extremely exciting to be a part of their first season. I get to be in the group that sets the standard for the future years and we get to create our own culture. On the school side, the prestige of the school is equally exciting. I am thinking I want to become a Physician’s Assistant and Arcadia has a spectacular program that I could continue into after I get my Bachelor’s degree.”
That is the future for Brooks, and it looks awesome. However, the present is playing for the Rush and helping that team reach the lofty goals it sets every season playing in the Southeast Division, where the stakes are high every time the team hits the ice.
“The rivalries down here are intense,” said Brooks. “It is really fun to play in that atmosphere. It is very good, fast hockey and the rivalries only make it more competitive. I can definitely feel that energy when I’m on the ice.”
Brooks is playing a big part in a solid 5-2-1 start to the season for the Rush, counting five goals and seven points in the first eight games. Clearly, his role on the squad is to put the puck in the net.
“My coaches are really wanting me to be a goal-scorer. They have given me some great opportunities and my teammates, and I have really been working well to put the puck in the net,” said Brooks.
As for the season goal? When you play for the Rush, that goal is obvious.
“Our team is working towards winning a championship and our coaches are pushing us every day to get to that level,” said Brooks. “We’re putting in a lot of work and we try to raise the bar even higher each and every day.”
Playing the game at the highest level is nothing new to Brooks. Watch for him to play a prominent role in Charlotte this season and in Pennsylvania after that.
The USPHL congratulates Pallen Brooks, his family, the Charlotte Rush, and Arcadia University for his commitment.