St. Stephen Aces Jr. A Hockey Club

Former Aces defenceman gains recognition as a student at Westfield State University

By Kate Scott / Courier Weekend

St. Stephen Aces alumnus, Marcus Payne, has recently gained recognition in his time at Westfield State University in Westfield, Mass.

Payne was recently honoured with the All American Scholar program, presented by the American Hockey Coaches Association, which is recognition for outstanding academic performance along with on ice contributions during the 2016-2017 season for the NCAA Division III Westfield State University Owls.

He also received recognition for outstanding achievement for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athlete Conference, for the winter and spring team. Payne, a defenceman, played 77 games for the Aces during the course of the 2014-2015, and 2015-2016 seasons.

“It was pretty astounding, I guess you could say,” Payne said, of receiving the honour.

“It was nice to be recognized for the hard work, and recognized for something that you take pride in – you really realize more so then that hard work pays off. It was nice to win that.”

Payne is planning to major in movement science, with a concentration in sports medicine. Though he’s in his second year at Westfield State, because of the online courses he took with Memorial University during his time with the Aces, he’s considered a third year student. He said he hopes to attend Memorial after he graduates from his undergraduate program to take his doctorate. He credits his time with the Aces for helping him to prepare for his time at Westfield.

“A lot of people can pull through junior A and not do school, where with the Aces you have to enroll in some sort of course, therefore, you don’t just get up in the morning and go play hockey and go back home.

“It helps you become much more prepared,” Payne added. “I felt like I had a routine with the Aces, so when I came [to Westfield] I felt like it made that transition easier.”

-Reprinted from the Saint Croix Courier/Courier Weekend, Sept. 15, 2017