GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Trevor Hamilton and Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Cam Knuble are trying to climb their way up the hockey ladder.
Both players also have something else in common: their fathers are involved with West Michigan hockey.
Cam Knuble’s father, Mike Knuble, is the assistant coach for the Griffins and one of his players is Trevor Hamilton. Cam Knuble plays under Lumberjacks head coach Mike Hamilton, who is Trevor’s father.
“It’s a pretty neat relationship,” Mike Knuble said. “The two dads are working with the other kids. It’s pretty rare.”
Mike Hamilton agrees with that sentiment.
“It’s a great opportunity as parents to be doing our jobs and have our sons 40 minutes away,” he said.
The two dads played junior hockey against each other when they were growing up.
“I’ve known Mike (Hamilton) for years,” Mike Knuble said. “(We’ve) always chatted, our teams played against each other.”
The sons are about five years and three levels apart. 24-year-old Trevor Hamilton plays the sport at the professional level while Cam Knuble, 18, plays with an elite junior team.
But both sons are working to get to the next level.
“Trevor is obviously working hard to try to stick in Grand Rapids and Cam is working hard to stick in the lineup on a daily basis here (in Muskegon),” Mike Hamilton said.
Cam Knuble says he has improved a lot by playing in the United States Hockey League.
“I want to play here, play at Michigan State and then just like everyone, turn this into a profession,” he said.
Trevor Hamilton is also looking ahead to the future.
“I’ve learned a lot from Nubs (Mike Knuble),” Trevor Hamilton said. “We always pick his brain about what it takes to get to the NHL. He’s been very helpful.”
Both sons expressed gratitude to have successful hockey dads and learned from the other father.
“It’s awesome here with Coach Hamilton,” Cam Knuble said. “He’s great. He keeps it loose. It’s always fun with guys.”
When asked, Trevor Hamilton said his dad was harder on him compared to his other coaches.
“My dad was pretty hard on me, but he knows a lot about hockey. I’m getting to that stage now when I’m actually listening to him,” he said, laughing.
Mike Hamilton acknowledges he challenges all his kids.
“I definitely want the best for all of them on a daily basis and that includes Cam,” Mike Hamilton said.
Both dads say watching their sons as a fan is much harder than coaching them.
“It’s really hard and I get nervous,” Mike Knuble said. “As a coach, you can give them instant feedback. As a parent, you sit and chew your nails, pretty much.”