Jackson Decker’s typical day isn’t unlike that of most high-school seniors.
Out of bed by 7:30 a.m. Check.
School by 8. Check.
Lunch around noon. Check.
Stuart Weitzman Pan Goose Bump Leather Nunaked Women's High Sandals,By 5, he’s home for dinner. By 7, he’s elbow deep in homework. By 10 — or 11, depending on how many video games are played — he’s in bed. Sounds pretty standard, doesn’t it?
But the middle of the day — that noon-to-5 slot — is what makes Decker different than most kids his age.
Decker is a defenseman for the Coulee Region Chill, which, as a high-school-aged player, demands a special kind of commitment. Playing junior hockey is essentially a full-time job, but when you add regular schoolwork to the equation, it becomes even more complex.Jimmy Choo Black Shimmer Open-toe Platform Glitter Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Tory Burch Black T Logo Patent Leather Sandals,sMy coach last year was a big advocate of junior hockey and pushing kids on to the next level,” Decker said. “He reached out to a couple coaches last year for me, not just in the NAHL but in different leagues, too.
“I didn’t think it was that hard of a decision. I definitely had to go over everything with my coach and my family and all of that, and then working things out with my high school before I fully committed to it, but this is something I want to do.”
Despite his choice, Decker is a regular 17-year-old in almost every other way.
Tory Burch Black Leighanne Flat Thong Sandals,“I would say after practice, he’s home by 5 and he’s a normal high-school kid,” said Andy Palmer, one of Decker’s billet (host family) parents. “He’s got homework he has to do. He hangs out with classmates; we have a high school kid of our own, and they get along really well. They play their NBA 2K games and set up tournaments and stuff like that.
“He’s just a normal kid once he’s away from the ice. He has the same responsibilities as any high schooler.”
It’s not uncommon.
Including Decker, the Chill have three high-school-aged skaters in their squad. They had four before 16-year-old Todd Scott was elevated to the USHL. As for the rest of the league, all but one team has at least one player — as of today — under the age of 18. Of those 23 teams, 15 have at least three.
Furthermore, of the 23 active members of Coulee Region’s roster, 15 played at least one season of junior hockey before receiving their high-school diplomas. Nine played two or more.
It’s part of the gig. Simultaneous pursuit of athletic and academic goals is a regular practice in junior hockey, one that all players — including those who have already graduated from high school — gladly welcome. They understand the challenges of the journey.
If anything, it forces kids to mature at a much quicker rate.
“The biggest thing, for me personally, is it matured me,” said A.J. Degenhart, former Chill coach, who played two seasons with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers before joining the University of Wisconsin.
“Those couple years of being, not necessarily on your own because you have a billet family, but being on your own away from your support group and not having them right there to bail you out all the time, I think it makes you grow up in a hurry. I can say for myself, with the coaches I had, they taught me a lot of life lessons in the couple years I was there. That stuff is invaluable, so when a kid does move on, we always say, we want a player to come in a boy and leave as a man.”Tory Burch White & Gold Sandals,
Prada Beige Double Suede Fringe Buckle Thong Flat Sandals,Valentino Blue/Gold New Garavani Men's Camouflage Pool 42eu Sandals,Valentino Pink Gold Pvc Rockstud Bow Sandals,Christian Louboutin White Blue Black Silver Rocknbuckle 85mm Heels A368 Sandals,Tory Burch Black Logo Criss Cross Strappy with Heels Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Silver Heels Lauratomod Specchio Sandals,Emilio Pucci Blue Designer Stiletto Open Toe Dress Sandals,Christian Louboutin Red Suede with Animal Print Pony Skin Heel. Sandals,Jimmy Choo Black Demi Suede Slip-on Sneakers Sneakers,Giorgio Armani Light Brown New Women Genuine Leather Crystals T-strap Flats Italy 6.5/ Eu 36.5 Sandals,adidas White Stan Smith Pk Women's Sneakers,Miu Miu Black Two Tone Leather Peep Toe Bow Mules Sandals,Prada Off-white Strappy Platform W/Cork Heel 9.5 Sandals,Vince Camuto Gold Mairana Block Heeled Two Strap Sandals,Tod's Silvery White & Black. Sandals,Barneys New York Black Suede Sligback Heel SandalsTory Burch Tan and Gold Phoebe Leather Flat Sandals,Tory Burch Orange Thora Suede SandalsBrian Atwood Pink/Green Purple/Orange Leigha Multicolor Pink/Green/Purple/Orange SandalsNike Women’s Air Max 98 Sneakers. Textile and Synthetic Construction Provides A Comfortable Fit. Style/Color: SneakersSophia Webster New Pineapple Print Slip On Sneakers Sneakers,Giuseppe Zanotti Gold Black Metallic Lizard Harmony Three Strap Sandals,Christian Louboutin Black Nappa Shiny Marilla Woven Flats A919 SandalsStuart Weitzman Black Suede Leather Peal Embellished Strap Pump Sandals,Pour La Victoire Blue Estele Sandals,Burberry Brown Beige Slide Wedge Leather Upper Nova Check Insole Sandals,Christian Louboutin Black Soso Crisscross Sandals,Tory Burch Pink Breely Patent Leather Flat Sandals,Tory Burch Tan Grove 100mm Open Toe Bootie Sandals,Valentino Beige Rockstud Flat Gladiator Sandals,
A senior, Decker prefers an in-class educational experience. That’s why he attends Holmen High School.
But not all junior players are like Decker. Depending on personal preference or individual goals, a player may opt for alternative schooling options.
“It’s really up to them and their parents,” said Shelly LaPlount, Coulee Region’s director of housing, who acknowledged the possibility of players taking online courses.
“If they ask my opinion, I will give it. These kids have to grow up so fast, and they make so many sacrifices. I encourage them to still attend a physical school, just so they have a little bit of their childhood, of their senior year; so they can follow a football team, or go to a prom, or get all those experiences.
“These kids give up so much.”
Size 40 black suede open toe heels with cutout details and an ankle strap. 3.75" heels. Brand new in box.
But it’s worth it for most.
Still, some kids opt to add an in-school experience to their already-altered lifestyle; to provide an element of normalcy.
That option works best for Decker. And for Marshal Plunkett and Kevin Bryant, both of whom attend their respective hometown schools of West Salem and Central as senior students.
“One of the things we try to make all of our students understand; we want them to get involved, go to events, participate,” Holmen principal Bob Baer said. “High school is only four years long, and once you leave here, things change a little bit. So we really promote that, both with the Chill players and with our non-Chill players.
“And I’ve seen our Chill players at events in the past. They do get involved.”
But in-school arrangements aren’t for every junior-hockey player. For others, online classes are a better fit.
“It depends a lot on the kid, because everyone’s different,” LaPlount said.
Such was the case for Todd Scott.
Upon his arrival to Coulee Region, Scott was — and still is — a high-school junior, though he’s been playing some form of junior hockey since his freshman year. He played in two different locations before joining the Chill, and now, he’s in Sioux City backing up former Coulee Region goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks in the USHL.Manolo Blahnik White New Susabor Toe-ring Studded Flat Sandals,
Since October, Scott has played for three different junior teams, on three different levels, in three different cities. And his junior career is still very much in its infancy.
Ralph Lauren Collection Green and Tan Wanda Ii Canvas Leather SandalsSalvatore Ferragamo Black Bali Metal Bow Jelly Sandals,Marc by Marc Jacobs Blue Dot Fur Slides Sandals,Valentino Black Rockstud Double Strap Sandals,Valentino Black Rockstud Rubber Flat Slide Sandals,Isabel Marant Black Akynn Glitter Ankle Wrap Sandals,Joie Black Pippi Suede Fringe Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Metallic Ankle Strap Caged Heels,Lanvin Brown/Black 2 Tone Leather Sandals,Dior Black Extreme Rock Mesh Cut Out/ Caged Heels Sandals,Tory Burch White Animal Print SandalsTory Burch White New Espadrille Leather Natural Fibers Sandals,Loeffler Randall Black Dani Flat Gladiator SandalsChristian Louboutin Black Tres Bea Leather SandalsAlexandre Birman Snakeskin/Multi Suede/Leather Block Sandals,Loeffler Randall Nude Bea Suede Pompom Ankle-wrap Sandals,Jimmy Choo Beige and Brown Faux Lizard Ulrika Mules Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Pink and White Snakeskin Sandals,Christian Louboutin Corazon (Red) Flo Sling 120 Patent Leather Platform Slingback Sandals,Tory Burch New 3t - Black White Sandals,Tory Burch Royal Tan-206 T T-strap Sandals,Tory Burch British Tan Gigi Flat SandalsBalenciaga Black Arena Studded Gladiators In Sandals,Fendi Beige Patent Leather Peep Toe Slides Sandals,Jimmy Choo Metallic Gold Leather Strappy Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Electric Blue Satin Strappy Stilletto Sandals,Fendi Black Black/Navy Blue Leather and Denim Cork Platform 37. SandalsChristian Louboutin Navy Suede Chouquette 160 Platform SandalsTory Burch Multicolor New Rainbow Rubber Flats Flip Flop Beach Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Turquoise and Coral Jeweled Sandals
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Rick Owens Black Brown Wedges Sandals,“The more you transfer, the more that may not transfer,” LaPlount said of moving credits from one high school to the next. “And so you don’t want to come up short. Todd still has time in his situation because he’s still just a junior. But as a senior, you don’t have time to make up. So if you’re going to miss a credit and it’s going to cause you to not graduate, that’s a big deal.”
Education is paramount to the junior-hockey experience. If a player falls behind on his studies, it reflects on his playing time.
Gianvito Rossi Blue Suede Heels Sandals,And that’s by design. There’s a reason why 92.1 percent of NCAA men’s hockey players graduate with degrees, more than any other NCAA sport. Junior hockey determines who can handle college-level responsibilities, and who can’t.
“School comes first,” LaPlount said. “Whether you’re on the bench that Friday night or Saturday night, that means more than anything to these kids. Once the coach gets involved, things change quickly, if need be. But thankfully, we haven’t had an issue on the Chill team at all.”Zara Mink Champagne Satin (1802) Sandals,
Life after graduation
All but three of Coulee Region’s current players already have their high school diplomas.
Well done, guys. Now what?
There’s more than one answer to that question for a junior-hockey player.
Getting a high-school diploma doesn’t always mean a player is finished with school. Some junior players elect to take an online class or two, particularly if their grade-point average needs improving. Others take classes just to stay sharp.Tory Burch Black Two-band Flat Espadrille Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Tory Burch Black Miller 2 Polka Dot Snake Print Pewter Metal Logo M Sandals,“Some of the players do want to keep their minds going, because to take two years off of school and then jump in as a college freshman; when you haven’t done any studying or reading for two years, it’s tough to jump back in,” LaPlount said. “So some like to take a course just to keep things fresh.”
But additional schooling isn’t for everyone.
Others stay engaged as members of the local workforce, as some guys — including a handful of Chill players — land part-time jobs on the side. That isn’t always the case, as the ever-changing nature of junior hockey makes it difficult for companies to hire junior players. But the right connections can yield suitable arrangements, as they have for several Coulee Region skaters over the last five years.Jeffrey Campbell Grey Redondo Gladiator Sandals,
Beyond that, the Chill are also required to maintain an active presence in the community. That includes all manner of things; from reading in local elementary-school classrooms, to ringing a bell for the Salvation Army.Valentino Cuir Brown Rockstud Gladiator Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
Hermès Silver Gold Metallic Pewter Patent Leather Night 70 H Logo Sandals,No matter what they do in their spare time — whether it’s attending high-school classes, working a shift at Burrachos or volunteering time at a local charity — the Chill are expected to be active, engaging members to the local community.
Most of them may be teenagers, but they’re expected to be role models.
SCHUTZ Jewel Accent Peach Suede Leather Heels B Sandals,“We get a pretty good feel for things in the first month, whether this is a student we need to keep an eye on, or whether this is someone who is or is not showing up for work and being a good citizen for the community,” said Chill coach Ryan Egan, who is midway through his first season with Coulee Region.
“That’s one thing about this level. Expectations are high. There are more than 1,000 players that would want to replace any player on this roster. Is it tougher to replace talent sometimes? Sure, but being a good person is first and foremost. And if you’re not a good person, we’re not going to keep you here. … The players know that they’re expendable at this level, so there’s always that hanging over their head, but I think we instill in them that it’s good to be a part of the community.”Stuart Weitzman Adobe Aniline Patent Leather Axis Women's W (Wide) Sandals,