|Megna had 18 points in 2010-11, placing him second |
in scoring among Lumberjacks defensemen.
The 2010-11 USHL Student-Athlete of the Year just finished his freshman season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and the 6-foot-6 tower from Northbrook, Ill., gave his time in the country's top junior league much of the credit for allowing him to succeed right away.
"In Muskegon I learned you have to bring your best game every day or you're not going to play," said Megna on this week's Port City Podcast. "You have to have your best physically and mentally and can't take days off. [2010-11] was good for me as a player because we had to fight through some early struggles as an expansion team."
After balancing his studies at Mona Shores High School with his Lumberjacks-related activities, Megna felt ready to tackle the challenges of being a college student-athlete.
"I learned a lot of time management in Muskegon," said Megna, who scored all A's at UNO this academic year after turning in similar marks at Mona Shores. "You've got to stay on top of things, stay focused and set limits on yourself."
Skating in 55 games for Muskegon's first-ever USHL season helped prepare Megna for the rigors of college play, and he was trusted to dress in 35 of UNO's 38 games despite his newbie status. Although UNO finished at 14-18-6 and lost in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoffs, Megna effusively praised the program led by head coach Dean Blais and expressed optimism for the future.
|Photo: University of|
Jaycob's transition to college was aided by the presence of his older brother Jayson, who was also a first-year Maverick this season. Jayson followed up a stellar two-year stint with the USHL's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders by scoring 31 points for UNO, the third-best total on the team.
"It was a blast," said Jaycob of playing alongside his sibling, who assisted on Jaycob's first collegiate goal Nov. 12 at Bemidji State. "It had been a long time since we spent a huge chunk of time together so it was so much fun. We push each other so I think it was beneficial to both of us."
Megna recently felt the push of Lumberjacks Assistant Coach Dave Noel-Bernier when he and his brother made a trip to Muskegon to visit Jaycob's billet family. Noel-Bernier, who graduated from UNO and spent time working as their strength and conditioning guru, the same position he currently holds in Muskegon.
To hear more about how Noel-Bernier's program helped Megna become a better player, how Jaycob feels about Muskegon and why the USHL was a "no-brainer" choice for him, listen to the Port City Podcast on the audio player below or visit www.blogtalkradio.com/mattgajtka!