YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Austintown Fitch senior Cadence Pounds will be continuing her ice hockey career next year at Hilbert College, an NCAA Division III program in New York.

Watch the above video to hear from Pounds.

Pounds will be a part of the inaugural women’s ice hockey program at Hilbert.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the inaugural program and I hope that we can grow it even more,” Pounds said. “We do have a full team this year. It started with 17. He might be able to get five more, so we’d have a full 22-person bench.”

Pounds played this past season with the Kent Cyclones co-ed high school team. The forward netted three goals and seven assists and helped lead the Cyclones to a division championship and the state tournament.

“I have a lot of speed,” Pounds added. “I’ve been told that I’m pretty fast and I have a really high hockey IQ, so that helps me. I actually coach the little kids here at Youngstown, too, and it helps me a lot that I can see the ice really well and I can predict what’s going to happen pretty much all the time, even when other people don’t recognize that I do. So, I’m usually where I need to be and always in the right position, as well.”

Pounds is one of a limited number of ice hockey players from the Valley to go on and play at the NCAA level. She hopes to see more players follow in her footsteps.

“I am a big advocate for youth hockey, spreading the word,” she said. “That’s why I teach the Learn to Play program. I try to keep the kids engaged and have as many people in the program as possible. Especially with girls, I want to be a very big inspiration for young girls around Youngstown or really anywhere to show that they can play hockey. They have the opportunity to do it. So, it’s a big deal and I really hope to continue to coach too.”