Former student designs hockey jerseys for St. Michael’s College

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 12:17 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Jerseys are the fashion of the sports world. And as our Ike Bendavid found out, one Vermonter is helping create a new look at his alma mater.

You have seen his work posted on social media, but when the pandemic hit-- with no sports-- Pete Estes, like many people, found himself with extra time on his hands.

To keep busy, he started doing graphic design mockups of what UVM basketball jerseys would look like modeled after professional basketball teams. It was a hit on social media.

“I did UVM’s jerseys, then I did St. Mike’s for my alma matter and it just kind of... people were like, they are sweet, when are they going to sell them? I wish we could buy them. Well, you can’t, they are not real,” he said.

That’s when St. Michael’s College Hockey Coach Damian DiGiulian reached out to the Purple Knights alum, asking if Estes could design their home and practice jerseys.

“I said no doubt about it,” Estes said.

And the part-time hobby became very real.

“It was so cool. I never thought anything I would design... I was doing it for fun to pass time in the pandemic and it turned into a real-life jersey that’s being worn in NCAA hockey,” he said.

It’s gotten some pretty good reviews from current players.

“When they walked in the first day and saw them, they were ecstatic,” DiGiulian said. “When recruits see nice jerseys and when alums see nice jerseys, they get excited about the program.”

DiGiulian says players and fans feel connected to their teams’ uniforms, and this one designed by Estes is special.

“There’s a lot of pride when people wear a jersey that they really like, I think in hockey especially or the sweater they call it in Canada, I think is a really important thing,” DiGiulian said.

To score a goal, you need attention to detail and Estes did just that, putting the slogan “hope happens here” on the collar, a now-national program that two former St. Mike’s players started to spread awareness about mental health.

“To have that etched into our jerseys is really pretty special,” DiGiulian said.

“It’s an important thing to them and it’s important that they continue to talk about,” Estes said.

Instead of payment, Estes only asked for a jersey of his own. Now, he’s working on creating next year’s away purple jerseys.

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