Spring 2019

Power players

Nathan (left) and Jacob Ritter
Photography by Scott Streble

What’s in Jacob and Nathan Ritter’s backpacks? Hockey sticks—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.” 

They’ve 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. 

Later this month, they’ll take 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’s chess club. The brothers, who 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’s Rec Center. 

Jacob says the Bentson Family Scholarship not only helps the brothers afford college, but also makes 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.

Watch Norseman captain Jacob Ritter in action.