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's Versace Black 2731 Boots/Booties Modern and stylish fashion,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.LADY Dr. Martens Black Eye-8 Boots/Booties Elegant and stable packaging,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
women Joie Beige Makena Boots/Booties Stylish,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.
MISS Very Volatile Red Cowgirl Boots/Booties Stable quality,“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.”womens Joie Khaki Easton Boots/Booties Reasonable price,
ladies Lola Cruz Black Boots/Booties Great classification,LADY Clarks Bronze Un. Helma Flats Comfortable touch,WOMENS Dolce&Gabbana Red/Black Espadrilles Flats Queensland,womens Jimmy Choo Green 16832 Boots/Booties Exquisite workmanship,WOMENS Forever 21 Bone Boots/Booties Fine workmanshipWOMEN Mudd Brown None Boots/Booties quality,women Vince Camuto White Flats promotion,Ladies Salvatore Ferragamo Black Magnifico Flats Strong heat and heat resistanceladies Hunter Glossy Black Tall Boots/Booties Fashionwomens Dr. Martens Mary Jane Flats price concessions,ladies Bellini Brown Valley Boots/Booties Clever and practical,LADY Balmain Blue Jelly Sandals Repair,Ladies Free People Blue/Gray Ankle Boots/Booties Nice color,women Nanette Lepore Black-bronze By Boots/Booties newcomerWOMEN Burberry Check Buckle Flats King of the quantity,lady Candela Black Sandals economy,Ladies Brian Atwood Black Felody Boots/Booties Primary quality,womens Salvatore Ferragamo Red Flats Queensland,women L.K. Bennett Brown (Cognac) Boots/Booties diversity,women Tod's Brown Uv2br907 Boots/Booties Used in durability,Women's Christian Louboutin Brown Adorable Boots/Booties Crazy price,Women's Prada Grey Loafer Flats Selected materials,MISS Valentino Black Biker Studded Boots/Booties Guarantee quality and quantityladies Saint Laurent Gray Stunning Boots/Booties Primary qualityWomen's Ivy Kirzhner Black Boots/Booties Stylish and funny,women Sam Edelman Brown Sanford Boots/Booties Immediate delivery,women Jasper&jeera Flats Sale Italy,lady Steve Madden Taupe Tyrantt Boots/Booties Let our goods go out into the world,womens Frye Black Lucinda Boots/Booties a wide range of productsladies Vivienne Westwood Copper Skyscraper Boots/Booties Easy,
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.”
Chestnut brown steve madden troopa boots only New a handful of times, light wear and tear.
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.MISS Valentino Nude Rockstud Ballerina Flats Affordable,
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.
woman Matisse Black Caty Boots/Booties packaging diversityLadies Alexander McQueen Camel Oxford Boots/Booties ComfortLadies Guess Red Boots/Booties Sale online storeLADY Keen Green Boots/Booties High quality products,WOMENS Creme Italian Ballet Flats Guarantee quality and quantity,Ladies Tieks Ivory Patent Ballet Flats New design,WOMEN J/Slides Black Eppie Sandals Orders are welcome,lady Kenneth Cole Brown Boots/Booties The color is very noticeable,LADY Alexander Wang Black Kori Boots/Booties Sale Italy,MISS Giuseppe Zanotti Black Snakeskin Boots/Booties quality Queen,Women's Prada Grey Suede Ankle Boots/Booties Special function,WOMEN Frye Tan Vera Short Boots/Booties Good quality,womens Guess Purple Snakeskin Cowboy Boots/Booties New varieties are introduced,lady Liz Claiborne Black Suede Boots/Booties Louis, in detail,MISS Silver Star Platform Oxford Flats Optimal price,Ladies Gentle Souls Blue Unknown Flats luxury,Ladies Frye Brown Dark Boots/Booties Excellent qualityWomen's Enzo Angiolini Brown Riding Boots/Booties At a lower price,Women's Prada Black Suede Zipper Boots/Booties Quality first,WOMENS Tracy Reese Black Boots/Booties Online shopMISS Jimmy Choo Camel Pointy Boots/Booties Not so expensiveLadies Black/Red Chelsea Rain Boots/Booties Attractive and durable,Ladies Gianni Bini Khaki Riyna Boots/Booties Practical and economical,women Red “lonely Flats Stylish and charming,Women's Hermès Peach Oran Sandal Flats Economical and practical,LADY Bluesparkle Like Birkinstocks Sandals German Outlets,LADY Cole Haan Brown #d17639 Boots/Booties Carefully selected materials,Ladies ANINE BING Black Moto Boots/Booties Fair priceLADY Christian Louboutin Black Tournoi Boots/Booties luxury,womens Ash Stone Yahoo Wedge Boots/Booties Germany,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
woman Birkenstock Brown Sandals Rich design,“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.
Ladies Christian Louboutin Black Mercura Boots/Booties Exquisite workmanship,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.”Ladies Jeffrey Campbell Gray California Boots/Booties Exquisite (medium) workmanship,
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.womens Tory Burch Camel Bennie Boots/Booties Most economical,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
ladies Dr. Martens Purple Clemency Boots/Booties New design,“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.MISS Via Spiga Black Stiletto Boots/Booties bestsell,
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.woman Isola Black New Bricen Flats Exquisite (medium) workmanship,
It’s part of the gig.
LADY Stuart Weitzman Black Sw57783 Flats Beautiful design,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.
WOMEN Vince Camuto Brown Connolly Boots/Booties Popular recommendation,“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.”women Steve Madden Brown Foreway Boots/Booties Excellent performance,