Alt Making His Mark On Ice

Former Kansas City Chiefs OL John Alt’s son Mark led his high school football team to it’s first state title in over a decade as the starting quarterback and kicker.  Despite his bloodlines and success on the football field, Mark decided he wanted to go his own way.

Instead of following in the footsteps of his father, John, an All-Pro offensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs for 13 seasons, Mark has decided to take his show on the ice.  In the process, he passed on a scholarship to play football at his father’s alma mater, Iowa, and instead will attend the University of Minnesota to play hockey.

“People have been expecting me to play football because of my dad,” Alt said, “but hockey was just always my kind of my thing.  The fact I’ve taken it this far and now have an opportunity to be drafted is a pretty big accomplishment.  My dad actually agreed with my decision; we talked about it for a long time.  He was a huge football player and my football coach, but we sat down and talked about it.  He knew the opportunities I had in hockey and that that was the thing to do.”

After years of learning the gridiron from dad, now it’s Mark’s turn to teach his mentor the art of the frozen floor.  It’s something he’s looking forward to.

“Dad has skates, but I think I’ve only seen him on them twice,” Alt said of his father, who played in the NFL at 6-foot-8 and 307 pounds.  “He’s not bad, he can actually get around, but I taught him everything he knows.”

He was a finalist for the coveted Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award, given to the state’s outstanding senior high school hockey player.  He’s the top-rated scholastic defenseman, fourth-best scholastic skater and No. 37 overall on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters for the 2010 Entry Draft.

“He’s got great speed and we let him go because he likes to cover a lot of ground,” Cretin-Derham coach Jim O’Neill said of his captain.  “When you watch him, you notice him because he’s big and loves to skate.  It’s not like he stays at home and does one thing.  He’s physical and can shoot well.  His size and skating ability are what catches your eye.”

O’Neill feels college hockey only will enhance Alt’s game.

“His potential is huge,” O’Neill said.  “He hasn’t really concentrated on hockey — he’s been a five-months-out-the-year hockey player to this point because he’s played football for fourth months.  With his size and skating ability, he’s a very intriguing player to a lot of teams.

“He’s just going to have to learn more about the defensive side.  He’s coachable and smart, so he’ll learn those things over time.”

John Alt on ice skates?  If that doesn’t have “YouTube Gold” written all over it, I don’t know what does.  Please, please get some footage of that online.

I’ve seen a few stories about Mark over the last few weeks with the NHL draft coming up.  I know significantly less than nothing about hockey, but from everything I’ve read he has a real chance to be a pro.

If the Gophers are in the Frozen Four next year I know I’ll be tuning in to get a glimpse of of Mark playing and of course the obligatory shots of John cheering him on in the stands.

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