Being part of the same team for four years won’t be anything new for Caleb Dusek.
After all, the 2000-born native of Dallas, Texas, is finishing his fourth season with the Hudson Havoc this year - so he’ll have no problem going the long haul from 2021 to 2025 with his future home, Neumann University.
“Committing to Neumann is a dream come true for me because I get to play the game I
love while also getting a degree that will last me a lifetime, all while being right outside a
major city like Philadelphia,” added Dusek. “It’s just all I could ever ask for and I am extremely excited to get to work there.”
Dusek is 15th all-time in USPHL Premier points, with 142 points in 127 games. Breaking into the top 10 - recently cracked by his fellow fourth-year teammate Dylan Marty, who committed to Framingham State University - is certainly within reach, just 10 points away with six games to play.
(Additionally, his brother Chris Dusek, now at Chatham University, is second all-time in points by a defenseman, behind current Wisconsin Rapids blueliner and fellow Texan Jordan Stear).
With his next game, Dusek will also move into the top 20 all-time for games played in the USPHL Premier. If he plays all six of the Havoc’s last 2020-21 regular season games, he’ll pull into 14th for his career. It’s a testament to the Havoc program that have remained from the first season in 2017-18 to now.
Between his four-year Havoc career playing under Head Coach Brett Wall, and his upcoming NCAA career, he is one very grateful young man.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank my parents for always supporting me and allowing me to reach my goals, Coach Wall for believing in me and guiding me along my journey, and finally I want to thank the Zerse and Martin families for billeting me,” he added. “I definitely would not be here if it weren’t for them and I am extremely grateful to have them be a part of my journey.
“Coach Wall’s plan and structure for our program is a big reason why he’s moved guys on previously and also why I’ll be playing NCAA hockey,” Dusek said. “There’s no other coach I would want to play junior hockey for, I’m just very grateful for all he has taught me.”
The journey takes him to the hills around Aston, Pa., home to Neumann University, a private Roman Catholic liberal arts college.
“As for a largest motivating factor, I can’t pinpoint one big thing, but Neumann checked all
the boxes for me because of its proximity to a major city, it’s very affordable for my
family, and the rink is very close to the school,” added Dusek. “Of course, in the conversations I’ve had with Coach [Kyle] Mountain, I felt he was very approachable and definitely someone I could go to war for every Friday and Saturday. So it was just everything I wanted all at one place.”
Dusek hopes to help the Knights return to the top of NCAA Division III, after they last won the National Championship in 2009.
“My first impressions of the coaching staff at Neumann were great. Like I said, Coach Mountain is very easy to talk to and very knowledgeable about the game,” added Dusek. “He was very upfront and honest with me from the start about what he was looking for in players he wants to recruit, and how he wants to build his roster which I really appreciated.
“As for the campus itself, it seemed like it was very easy to navigate and, while I was on my
tour, I could definitely envision myself being more than comfortable in Neumann’s academic environment.”
Coming out of Lake Forest Academy in 2017-18, Dusek took a gamble on a team that won just eight games in its first year. That gamble paid off as Hudson went to second place in Year 2 and won the Midwest West title last year and advance to the ultimately canceled National Championships for the first time.
“Over the last couple of years I have learned so much about the game from Coach Wall,
it almost seems like I’ve learned almost everything I know about the game from him,” said Dusek. “Coming in as a rookie I was honestly amazed realizing how many little details are
important to being a successful player and without Coach Wall, I feel like I never would
have taken those little things seriously.”
He remembers the day he committed to playing for the Havoc - from the middle of a Target department store.
“The recruiting process with Coach Wall and the Hudson Havoc for me was pretty
unorthodox to say the least and it actually lasted about 90 seconds. It was October
2017 and I was in my senior year at Lake Forest Academy near Chicago, Ill. (the
same school Coach Wall graduated from). It just so happened that the Havoc were
nearby playing in the Chicago showcase and at the time my older brother was a rookie
on the team and that's how I knew they were around,” he said.
“So there I was in the middle of Target when I get the call from Coach Wall and this is the first time I had ever talked to him. He explained to me how they were in the showcase and had some open lineup spots and I was kind of shocked at this point,” Dusek added. “I really wanted to play and at this point I couldn’t say no because my older brother was in the background of the call practically begging for me to join the team for the rest of the weekend.”
Next thing he knew, he was going up against the Florida Jr. Blades in his first junior game, and the rest is history. Now, he wants to make a little more history with the Havoc.
“As for these upcoming playoffs, the sky's the limit for our team. I really feel like there’s something special here to win a division,” Dusek said. “With all the guys we have and the energy everyone brings every day, combined with a lot of veteran experience, it’s a great mix to make a run. Ultimately, our goal since Day 1 has been to win it all and there’s no reason why we can’t be the last man standing when it’s all said and done.”
The USPHL congratulates Caleb Dusek, his family, the Hudson Havoc and Neumann University for his commitment.