Marvin-Cordes, Hendrickson use multisport talents to excel on the ice
Sanford Power's Murray Marvin-Cordes of Warroad, left, and Twin Cities Orthopedics' Johnny Hendrickson of Providence Academy are multisport athletes who have thrived in the Elite League's fast-paced environment. Photos by Loren Nelson, LegacyHockeyPhotography.com
Johnny Hendrickson has one gear. Same goes for Murray Marvin-Cordes. And neither does anything slow.
Hendrickson or Marvin-Cordes stepping on the ice is like a top-fuel dragster rolling up to the starting line. Or setting a Tasmanian devil loose in the proverbial henhouse. With these guys, the action is always intense.
“I think he plays soccer the same way he plays hockey, quick moves and being able to get around guys,” Twin Cities Orthopedics coach Tadd Tuomie said about Hendrickson, a Providence Academy senior who is playing soccer for the Lions this fall.
Warroad’s Marvin-Cordes, one of the top scorers for Sanford Power, is also a running back for the Warriors’ football team. He stands 5-foot-7 3/4 and weighs 150 pounds (about the same specs as Hendrickson). They are undersized — but never overmatched — forwards in a league teeming with 6-footers.
“I like his attitude, he’s coachable,” Sanford Power coach Scott Oliver said about Marvin-Cordes, who leads the team with seven goals. “I like his motor … he never stops. He plays the right way.”
“I think the beautiful thing about this league is not only do we keep our players in this great high school hockey model we have, but it also gives them an opportunity to play a fall sport and still participate in the league,” Oliver said. “Is it going to be a lot of work? Absolutely.”
Juggling the two sports and the six-hour road trips from Warroad to Elite League games in New Hope has led to some late nights and early mornings getting to and from games for Marvin-Cordes.
“Usually, if we’re playing an away (football) game, we just leave for the Elite League right after,” Marvin-Cordes said. “You’re showing up for (Elite League games) and sometimes it’s like 2:30 in the morning.”
Marvin-Cordes, also a baseball player in the spring and summer, sees myriad benefits in playing multiple sports.
“I think it kind of helps with your physicality out there.” he said. “When you are playing football, it helps with body positioning in hockey. Your conditioning is also a lot better.”
Added Hendrickson: “There’s the endurance aspect of it. If you are in good soccer shape, it helps with your hockey shape.”
Tuomie said he sees the benefits, too.
"I like athletes," he said. "I’ve always liked guys that have played multiple sports because they better understand certain situations, whether it is coming from football or soccer or baseball or any sport really."
Both Marvin-Cordes and Hendrickson, who scored 39 points for Providence Academy last winter and is also a standout tennis player who partners in doubles with MSP Magazine froward Louie Wehmann, said they got approval from their high school and Elite League coaches to play multiple sports this fall.
“We just have to work with the players, work with the high school coaches,” said Oliver, who guided Roseau to the 2007 state Class 2A boys’ hockey championship while also serving as the school’s football coach. “Whenever we have someone who is playing a sport in the fall and playing for us, I’ll make sure that when people ask about him they know that.”