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Campbell is one of several underclassmen making a statement for LSSU hockey
Dec. 3, 2003
By Lindsey Mechalik, LSSU Sports Information Intern
Freshman forward Trent Campbell was one of the unknown variables coming into this season who is already paying big dividends for Lake Superior State hockey. Campbell, with three goals and six assists, leads the Lakers in points so far this year and is adjusting well at left wing.
While quickly establishing himself at LSSU, he is continuing to be a role model in his hometown of Beauval, Sask, a village with a population of approximately 900 residents.
"I am a little over half native," said Campbell, who is a member of the English River First Nation. "My heritage is really important to me. Not many native kids are able to make it this far in hockey. I am really proud to be able to travel and get an education. I love being able to get beyond a stereotype and succeed."
Campbell is one of several underclassmen who are bringing the Lakers up from the bottom in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings. Campbell, even as a freshman, can see that the team is improving.
"I think the season is going really well so far," Campbell said. "As I am told, we have improved a lot since last year. We are learning as a team and getting to know each other's playing styles. There are a lot of little mistakes that we don't make any more."
After being away from school for two years, Campbell sometimes finds it hard to return back to the educational mind-set.
"One of the toughest challenges of being a freshman is getting back into school," said Campbell. "I have been out of school for two years and sometimes it is hard to get back into the groove and get my schoolwork done. As far as hockey, the coaches are great at not putting too much pressure on the freshman. We are here to learn, and I am sure next year the pressure will start. As long as we all continue to work hard, we don't feel a whole lot of pressure right now."
Campbell, who came to LSSU from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, is also adjusting to the faster speed and higher caliber of Division I hockey.
"College hockey has a much higher tempo," he said. "It is hard because there are not any bad players. I seem to be playing the same amount as I did last year, which is an aspect I really like. I love playing on the power play and penalty killing units like I did last year. I really like getting the ice time and learning game situations. I like to know how to react to certain things.
"The upperclassmen really helped me to adjust as a freshman. They made us all feel welcome right from the beginning. With working out, if we were doing an exercise wrong, they will help us to learn to do it right. They help us out by giving us advice about hockey and school. The biggest piece of advice was just making sure we keep working hard."
The LSSU tradition he has grown to love already is ringing the bell after a victory. It appears the Lakers will be ringing it more this year than they have in past seasons.
"I really love getting to ring the bell after a win," said Campbell. "It is great for morale. The atmosphere once we get outside where everyone is cheering is really great. I have never gotten to do anything like that before on other teams."
Like many other Canadian born athletes, this is Campbell's first time to travel throughout the United States.
"I traveled a little bit when I was younger, but I never thought I would get the opportunity to travel and play hockey," he said. "I love to see all of the different towns and universities. Each place we go, I buy a post card and send it to my parents (in Beauval, Sask.). My mom puts them up in her office at school.
Hockey fans in Beauval are planning to make an event out of the Lakers' game against Michigan State on Feb. 7.
"I am really looking forward to the game at Joe Louis Arena," Campbell said. "It will be great for it to be televised. A lot of people back home are really excited about that. The Grade 12s back in my hometown are organizing for people to watch the game as a fund raiser. They are going to get a big screen TV to put in the gym of the school and are selling tickets to come to the game. It will benefit the high school graduation."
"I played defense until I was a peewee," said Campbell. "Because I didn't seem to be growing very fast, my coaches moved me up to forward. When I was 19, I played half the season as a defenseman because of injuries and trades."
Prior to coming to LSSU, Campbell played for LaRonge Ice Wolves of the SJHL. Last season he registered 42 goals and 49 assists, which placed him third in league scoring. Campbell was named assistant captain for part of the season. He was named Playmaker of the Year, Mr. Hustle, Fan Favorite and Performer of the Year during his two seasons with the Ice Wolves.
At age 17, Campbell played for Fort Knox of the South Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, where he was named rookie of the year for 1999-00.
Campbell's father, Isidore, is a Dene south government worker for the Meadow Lakes Tribal Council. He travels to different bands to help them establish a tribal government and further personal development. His mother, Ornella, is a high school counselor.
"I talk to my parents about three times a week," Campbell said. "We are always phoning each other. They listen to all of the games on the internet. They came in for Parents Weekend to watch the games. They always try to give me as much support as they can. They are always there, whether it is for money or school concerns.
"My dad has had a huge impact on me playing hockey. He has helped guide me through all of my minor hockey and juniors. He is always there to support me no matter what it is. He will take work off just to make sure that I have everything I need."
Campbell's family is very close. He has two brothers and a sister. His older brother, T.K (22), who played junior hockey for 3 1/2 years, is one of the reasons Campbell started playing hockey.
"I started playing hockey because my big brother did," Campbell said. "I always wanted to do everything he did. I started playing a few years after he did. I keep playing because I love the game. It has gotten me this far getting to play and get an education at the same time. I love it because there is always further to go and there is always a step up in levels to play."
Campbell's younger sister, Tenille (19), attends a writing college in Humboldt, Sask. His younger brother, Tal (18), is a musician and has his own band called "Lounge Act." He currently plays the bass, but hopes to start a new band in order to play lead guitar. There are four years and two days separating the Campbell siblings.
Campbell, along with a few of his teammates, is a long ways from home. Beauval is almost 1,500 miles away and a 26 hour road trip. Being so far away from home is a big adjustment for a freshman.
"At first being so far away from home was a little hard," Campbell said. "I didn't know what to expect when I got here. The thought of moving so far bothered me a little, but I liked being so close to the Canadian border. Once I got here, and met the guys, everything has just worked. This is my first time being really far away from home. When I played Junior B, I was about eight hours away from home, which wasn't that far. I didn't know anyone here before I came to school except for my roommate, Derek Smith, who I played against last year. And I didn't really know him too well."
Looking toward the Christmas holiday, Campbell is looking forward to returning home for a few days.
"I am excited to get to go home and spend time with my family," he said. "I will see my grandparents and then fly back to school. My father has a pretty big family. We will all get together for at least one big meal over the holidays. We will go to my grandparents' farm about three hours south of my house. My uncles and their families will all get together for a big Christmas meal and stay together for about two or three days."
Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey