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.
WOMEN Brian Atwood Black 79948484-169 Sandals Different styles and styles,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.MISS Via Spiga Cinnamon Slingback Boots/Booties Elegant style,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
WOMEN Tory Burch Black Bristol Boots/Booties quality,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.
Ladies Burberry Black Fowler Boots/Booties Many styles,“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.”LADY Vince Camuto Leopard Print/Gray Boots/Booties Primary quality,
lady Taupe Stitchery Ankle Boots/Booties Sale Italy,women Kenneth Cole Navy Boots/Booties selling price,Women's Spiegel Black Boots/Booties FreeWomen's Rachel Roy Brown Boots/Booties Quality first,Ladies Sesto Meucci Black - Boots/Booties Let our goods go out into the worldWOMENS Topshop Black Sparkle Sequin Boots/Booties Superior quality,Ladies Johnston & Murphy Flats Consumers firstWOMENS Sergio Rossi Brown Sadler Boots/Booties special discount priceWOMENS FreeBird Stone New - Boots/Booties Full specification,LADY Mephisto Brown Boots/Booties Long-term reputationLadies Hunter Gray Tall Rainboot Boots/Booties Reasonable price,ladies Hunter White Canvas Sneakers Boots/Booties Many varietiesladies Juicy Couture Tan Boots/Booties Authentic guarantee,womens Frye Dusty Tan Leather Boots/Booties Freewomens Ivanka Trump Purple Ankle Boots/Booties New product,WOMEN Frye Black 77535 Boots/Booties Repair,MISS Stuart Weitzman Black Restless Boots/Booties Negotiate,ladies Marc Jacobs Black Interlock Flats Every article described is available,MISS Sam Edelman Grey-tan Boots/Booties First group of customers,Ladies Frye Grey Boots/Booties Moderate costsladies Alfani Cream Leather Boots/Booties To adoptWOMEN Black Slipper Flats a good reputation in the world,lady Tretorn Grey Rain Ankle Boots/Booties Fashion pattern,WOMENS Tory Burch Emblem Sandals The newest style,woman Rampage Brown Idera Riding Boots/Booties Aesthetic appearance,womens Hunter Red Tour Boots/Booties Let our goods go out into the worldlady Sbicca Light Brown Couper Boots/Booties Authentic guarantee,WOMEN 80 Brown Hidden Wedge Boots/Booties Different styles and stylesLADY Salvatore Ferragamo Black Leather Boots/Booties Make full use of materialsLADY Vince Camuto Black Boots/Booties New style
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.”
Never been New.
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.woman Stuart Weitzman Navy Boots/Booties Excellent,
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.
WOMEN Frye Dark Brown Suede Boots/Booties Exquisite (medium) workmanshipLADY Stuart Weitzman Black 827928269766 Boots/Booties economy,Women's Cole Haan Black Nikeair Boots/Booties price concessions,ladies Colin Stuart Off White Boots/Booties Clever and practical,Women's B Brian Atwood Burgundy Boots/Booties Elegant and solemn,Ladies Hunter Green Snakeskin Boots/Booties Online sales,womens Zara Black With Fringel Flats Elegant appearance,women Christian Louboutin Athena Flats newcomerwomen Castañer Beige Palmera Sandals High quality and low effortLadies Cloudwalkers Brown Ankle Boots/Booties environmentally friendly,woman Frye Black Mimi Scrunch Boots/Booties Popular tide shoes,WOMENS Giuseppe Zanotti Black I770035 Boots/Booties Different styles and styles,LADY Qupid Grey/Beige Boots/Booties durable,lady Frye Distressed Tan No Boots/Booties The highest quality material,MISS Bamboo Denim Boots/Booties economy,Ladies Theory Black Seude Ankle Boots/Booties Lush designladies Tory Burch Gigi “gigi” Flats Characteristic,womens Jimmy Choo Gold Espradille Flats The color is very noticeableLADY Crown by Børn Leather Boots/Booties quality,LADY Minnetonka Brown Fringed Suede Boots/Booties Let our goods go out into the world,WOMEN Rodarte Black S955 Boots/Booties Has a long reputation,ladies Eugenia Kim Grey Bow Boots/Booties Used in durabilitywoman Minnetonka Tan Fringe Suede Boots/Booties Very good quality,Women's Shoemint Wine Leila Boots/Booties Fashion pattern,woman Dsquared2 Multicolor Palm Spring Boots/Booties Low costs,women Salvatore Ferragamo Blue Morena Flats Diverse new design,women Burberry Check Canvas Espadrille Flats Reliable quality,Ladies Prada Silver Slide Platfrom Sandals The first set of comprehensive specifications for customers,WOMEN Merrell Dark Brown ("Espresso") Boots/Booties Not so expensiveWomen's Hervé Leger Black Boots/Booties Different styles and styles
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
women Vince Camuto Black Bennie Boots/Booties Low price,“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.
WOMEN Via Spiga Brown Russo Boots/Booties Carefully selected materials,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.”lady Free People Brown Falcon Boots/Booties International choice,
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.ladies Jimmy Choo Black Youthbkl Boots/Booties Stylish and funny,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
ladies Dolce Vita Gray Silas Boots/Booties Elegant and solemn,“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.women Restricted Taupe Boots/Booties Modern technology,
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.ladies Forever 21 Red Suede Boots/Booties First group of customers,
It’s part of the gig.
ladies Tory Burch Black Puffer Boots Fashion pattern,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.
MISS Tory Burch Green Classic Flats Wholesale,“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.”woman Christian Louboutin Miss Mix Flats The highest quality material,