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02/27/2020 12:53 PM -
All Roads Lead Home
Jacob Clement’s parents, both from Massachusetts and both in the US Army, were stationed in El Paso before he was born. His dad grew up playing hockey and searched for a rink when they moved to El Paso. Shortly thereafter, Jacob, his twin brother Jonathan, and their older brother Kelsey, were spending much of their time at the rink for hockey practice. After playing their way up through the El Paso Hockey Association youth program and spending a year playing high school hockey with the Coronado T-Birds, the Clement twins moved to Hudson, NH. For three seasons, the twins developed their skills with the Northern Cyclones’ program. “The goal though,” Jacob explains, “was always to come back and play for the Rhinos.” So, in March of 2019, Jacob moved back to El Paso and practiced with the Rhinos throughout Thorne Cup playoffs and finals.
Now, the native El Pasoan has earned a spot on the Rhinos’ roster and has played 26 games during the 2019-20 season. “It’s an awesome feeling to go from watching your favorite team growing up to playing on it.” With his name coming alongside other revered Rhinos from El Paso like Michael Rivera and Ty Erramouspe, the pressure he feels to represent his hometown well is undeniable. He doesn’t mind it though. “It’s good pressure. I always try to set a good example by playing hard and working hard.”
Twins in Tandem
Throughout Jacob’s hockey career, his twin Jonathan, has traveled the journey with him. “We’ve been playing our whole lives together. It’s good to have a competitive rivalry and we keep making each other better.” Despite running parallel in their playing careers, their playing styles couldn’t be more different. Jacob explains, “Jon is more of a power forward who’s focused on hitting. On the other hand, when I played forward, I set up teammates and worked on setting up plays. Jon is more physical and focuses on going to the net. We have different jobs that complement each other.”
In January, the Clements’ roles were further differentiated when Jacob Clement was moved to defense. He welcomed the change, however, partly because as a center, he already had defensive responsibility. During the earlier years of his career, he also played defense which has made the transition easier. “I feel like I see the play better. I’m also able to use my skating ability and ice vision more advantageously on the back end.”
After Junior Hockey and Off the Ice
Although he has several more years left in his junior hockey career, he’s planning to continue playing hockey in college. He is also considering following the footsteps of his mom, dad, and brother into the military. “I want to keep pushing myself physically, stay disciplined, and I could do that while serving my country.”
When he’s not playing hockey, he enjoys fishing with his family in Maine, watching sports – specifically Tom Brady and the Patriots—and eating spicy green chicken enchiladas.