Power players

nathan and jacob ritter

Nathan (left) and Jacob Ritter. Photo by Scott Streble

Jacob and Nathan Ritter always have hockey sticks in their backpacks—PowerHockey sticks, to be specific.

The twin brothers, both U of M sophomores and Bentson Scholars, have been playing PowerHockey since grade school, when they attended a camp for kids with muscular dystrophy.

“They had a hockey tournament every summer,” Nathan says. “We really enjoyed it.”

The Ritter brothers have gone on to become stars in the Minnesota PowerHockey League, a division of the U.S. Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association. Jacob is captain of the Norsemen; Nathan is captain of the Sharks. Both were selected for Minnesota’s all-star team, the Saints, which played for the North American PowerHockey Cup.

Recently, their teams took to the gym floor at the Crystal Community Center to begin the 2019 season, which runs through September.

PowerHockey isn’t the only activity the Ritters take part in outside of school. Jacob serves as president of the U of M’s chess club. The brothers, who both plan to become social studies teachers, also return to Wayzata High School once a year to speak about everything from living with muscular dystrophy to attending college.

As third-generation Golden Gophers, Jacob and Nathan grew up watching University of Minnesota football and basketball with their father.

“We had a lot of relatives who went to the U, and they’re all big sports fans,” says Jacob, who referees volleyball and flag football at the U of M’s Recreation and Wellness Center.

Jacob says the Bentson Family Scholarship has not only helped the brothers afford college, it has helped make them part of a community. Scholarship recipients meet socially throughout the year.

“It’s a good network and a really good group of people,” he says.


See the original story at Legacy magazine, a publication of the U of M Foundation.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities