A 2007 entry draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings, “Podge” Turnbull has spent the majority of his pro career with the South Carolina Stingrays and the Missouri Mavericks. Prior to being sidelined by a shoulder injury in February, Turnbull was Pensacola’s most productive scorer with 16 goals and 26 assists. He scored 5 points in a single game against the Mississippi RiverKings and was the SPHL’s Easton Player of the Month for December.
Podge credits his success in hockey and in everything he does to his faith. “It’s the biggest part of who I am,” he stated. Turnbull was most outspoken about his opportunity to visit with folks in the hospital. “You realize that while you may have had a bad game, it’s not so hard when put in perspective with people that are struggling with illness.” Illness is something his family dealt hard with when his father developed liver disease. Close to death and needing a transplant, Turnbull was not able to be there while his father Scott fought the battle of his life.
“It was a real eye opener,” says Podge. “Prayers for my dad and his determination and faith brought me closer to God. That faith has become the most important thing in my life. When you go through something like that the lights just come on, you know.”
Miraculously, his father rebounded from the sickness without needing the transplant and is now doing well with medication. One of Podge’s special memories while away from home in Hayward, Wisconsin is of him and his dad drinking coffee and watching FOX News.
Turnbull, the only boy growing up with two sisters, was not the only athlete. Hannah graduated college from Minnesota State and was a thrower on the track and field team. His younger sister Holly is a defenseman for the Madison Capitols’ girls U19 team. “My first date with my girlfriend Calsey was at one of my sister’s games. I knew then there was something special about her!”
Since he goes back north just around the time the beaches really get nice, I asked him if he braves it and gets in the ocean this time of year. “Absolutely,” he replied. “I go out fishing about 5 days a week. I really enjoy it. Calsey and I had a picnic on the beach when she was here for Valentine’s Day.”
Excited about the prospects of a repeat championship, Turnbull says that the team has a really good balance. “We can do it,” he said. “The team has great scoring capability and really good balance right now. It would mean the world to me to end up on top.”
Sounds like he already is.
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