Checkers' newest player someone to cheer for

by: Phil Orban Updated:

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CHARLOTTE —

The Charlotte Checkers begin a critical 10-day stretch as they fight to remain in playoff contention, starting with a home game against Oklahoma City Saturday night.

If you’re looking for a favorite player to root for, try the newest player of the team.

Dennis Robertson has not seen any game action yet for the Checkers, but his character has already passed the ultimate test.

In August 2011 Robertson and some of his Brown University teammates were spending some time at Rhode Island’s South Shore Beach.

“We were just out playing in the water. There was a pretty strong rip tide and we heard some yells down the beach,” Robertson said.

Three children had been pulled too far from shore. While two teammates helped a pair of sisters, aged 12 and 14, Robertson and the remaining three hockey players swam about 50 yards out into the waves to a barely conscious teenage boy.

A former lifeguard, Robertson loaded him on to a boogie board and dragged him back to the shore, saving his life.

“It’s one of those things you’d like to say you would do if you were in that situation. As soon as one person was going over there, I mean everyone went. It wasn’t a delayed reaction or people hesitating. As soon as one guy swam over it was...everyone was right on his heels,” said Robertson.

The Checkers’ newest defenseman said his college team was a particularly close-knit group, but he would expect the same from his teammates on the Checkers.

“It’s kind of a trait that most hockey players or athletes have to go out and do something like that for someone who is in trouble,” Robertson said.