Student Spotlight: Michael Rittner


Photo by: team photographer Robert Dimarco

Michael Rittner takes a shot in their game against Romeo High School.

Emily Blust, Staff Writer

The ice rink has been a second home for Adams’ senior Michael Rittner nearly all his life. Long hours of hard training and practice have built him into the hockey player he is today. Rittner never saw hockey as something he was obliged to do, but rather the game he loved playing.

His years of hard work finally paid off for him when he was named captain of the Rochester United hockey team and became a component of the All-State hockey team. Of all the high school hockey players across the state of Michigan, Rittner ranks fourth in goals scored and fifth in assists, having 12 of each so far this season. He has led the team to many victories thus far and is hoping for many more.


Q: How long have you been playing hockey?

MR: [I’ve been playing] since I was a little kid. [I started] around the age of seven, and I have played on the Rochester United team since I was a sophomore. I didn’t tryout for RU my freshman year because I broke my leg when I was playing in a league with my brother.  


Q: How is the hockey team doing so far this season?

MR: I think we are doing well so far.  We are 8-5 and beat Berkley 4-1 in a big league game on January 7. However, in our last game we lost to Brother Rice 2-3, but I think it’s something we can come back from.


Q: Do you think you will be able to lead the team to victory in the playoffs?

MR: Yes, it will be exciting because we have a pretty tough schedule. We’re playing Eisenhower, Lake Orion, and in the regional finals we have Detroit Catholic Central, who has won the D1 State Championship for several years in a row.  

Q: Do you have high expectations for the team?

MR: Yes. We have a lot of talent on our team, and it will be exciting to see if we can win the league title. It is in our hands to see if we can take the league for what could possibly be five years in a row. With one loss right now, we need to win the rest of our games to claim the title.  


Q: As a captain what roles have you had to step up to in regards to leading the team?

MR: In practice, it’s important that I help push my teammates to do their best. I try to lead by example, showing hard work every day with the hope that my teammates will follow. Since the captains from last year have left, I have had big shoes to fill considering the amazing season we had. I hope to motivate my team as much as they did me last year.


Q: Are you looking to continue your hockey career into college?

MR: Possibly – I’m not sure yet but I’m keeping my options open. I am also looking at the academic side of things when thinking about my future.


Q: In the off season, how do you train and who do you play for?

MR: I train in the off season by playing on different high school tournament teams for Michigan. This training in the offseason has helped push me to achieve my goal of being on the All-State team and also being able to take the role of captain on the RU team.  


Q: Does anything you do off the rink ever reflect how you play?

MR: I believe that if you work hard in anything, you will be able to be successful, and I think that holds true in hockey as well. Also, if I set a goal for myself, whether on or off the ice, I strive to achieve it no matter what it takes.


Q: When you were younger, what were your goals for hockey? Have you reached any of them yet?

MR: I have always seen and admired the wall of fame, and it’s truly amazing to be a part of it now. I mostly have just enjoyed playing the game I love, and I’m happy with how everything has turned out.


Rochester United placed second in their league with Troy placing first. They still have many talented teams on their schedule to beat in order to have a chance at winning States, but Rittner has full confidence that it can be done. Rochester United will be taking on Swartz Creek this Saturday, February 11 at the Onyx.