by Marie Sly


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., The Grand Rapids Warthogs, the newest franchise of the National Roller Hockey League (NRHL) are excited to announce local media guru, Mike Hewitt, as the first ever General Manager for the organization.

Hewitt, known locally for his media expertise, has been the “Voice of the NRHL” for some time, hosting a bi-weekly internet radio show discussing the ins and outs of the new league.

“I love the sport and have three decades of experience in management and business operations and years with media relations, so when I look at the team, the organization as a whole, and most importantly, the position of General Manager, it centers around what I do and always have done – team management and community outreach,” said Hewitt. “It’s exactly what I’ve been doing my entire adult life and now I have the opportunity to combine my love for the sport of hockey with the experience and enthusiasm for those two areas.”

Hewitt has a tall task in front of him – to take a great sports city, known largely as an ice hockey town and introduce and develop the sport of roller hockey in it. He believes that if hockey players and fans like ice, they will like roller – his plans are to introduce the sport to the community through radio and television and simply getting the sport in front of a new fan base. The goal is to push through sponsors – Hewitt is convinced that if sponsors want to support the sport rather than the advertisement, if the management and sponsors want to win and have the right team out there, between management, players, sponsors, staff, great things will come to Grand Rapids.

“Mike is a mainstay in the Grand Rapids community – he’s well known by businesses and media alike and has a phenomenal sense of team management, which are all qualities we were looking for in the General Manager for the Grand Rapids Warthogs,” noted NRHL President and Co-Founder Matt Wiedenhoeft. “The Warthogs are a new team, in a new market for roller hockey, in a building new to roller hockey and there really is nobody better to lead the march into the community than Mike.”

“I love the concept of the NRHL and am beyond excited to work with the partners and staff of the organization as we build this program from the ground up,” said Hewitt. “At the end of the day, all I want is to build a competitive team, grow a positive reputation in the community, build a base for youth roller hockey in West Michigan, and beat the daylights out of the competition.”

Hewitt lives in Walker, Michigan, with his wife, Kim. He is the Voice of the NRHL, hosting a Facebook radio show every other week, providing sponsors, fans, and players with insight into the growing league.

Registration is open for the next NRHL Free Agent Combine, however space is becoming increasingly limited. The remaining Free Agent Combine will be held December 27-29 in Saint Louis, Missouri.

The Free Agent Combine will consist of one practice with their designated team, run by members of the NRHL team coaching staff, including with four games scouted by every general manager and head coach, along with various staff members from across the League. The NRHL will also have professional trainers on site to test and evaluate every player. Along with all of that, the NRHL will have representatives on site from Alkali Verbero Skates to fit and measure for the player’s preferred boot, representatives from glove, helmet and other various equipment manufacturers so that when a player is named to a roster, all of their equipment will be ready and waiting for them when they walk into their new roller hockey home.

Each player will receive, among other things, a limited-edition custom NRHL insulated tumbler from Treblig Designs to commemorate their participation in the first-ever NRHL Combines.

The National Roller Hockey League is the only professional inline hockey league in North America and has teams in Detroit, St. Louis, Port Huron, and Grand Rapids. For more information or to register for the 2019 NRHL Combine, visit our website at www.thenationalrollerhockeyleague.com and find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.