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.
MISS Rick Owens Black/White Rp16s9874lsgp Boots/Booties packaging diversity,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.Women's Stuart Weitzman Grey Highland Boots/Booties Excellent value,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
women Tan and Blue Boots/Booties Crazy price,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.
woman Sundance Red Boots/Booties Customer first,“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 Sporto Silver/Black/Brown Julia Boots/Booties settlement Price,
WOMENS Miu Miu Black Boots/Booties Attractive fashion,Ladies Sesto Meucci Black Italy Flats Online sales,Women's Rag & Bone Gray Boots/Booties Famous store,womens Madewell Brown Archive Leather Boots/Booties Modernwomens Splendid Green-gray Boots/Booties trendy,MISS Donald J. Pliner Pink Boots/Booties Elegant and solemn,WOMEN Ralph Lauren Tan Zera Boots/Booties Flagship storeWOMEN Givenchy Various Flats Moderate price,women Roberto Cavalli Gold Glitter Boots/Booties New product,woman Off White Flats First quality,Women's Ralph Lauren Black Micah Boots/Booties Easy,Ladies Frye Brown Amelia Grommet Boots/Booties The highest quality material,MISS Valentino Light Blue Rockstud Flats Many styles,Ladies Lucky Brand Brown Tolache Boots/Booties Comfortable touch,WOMEN Yosi Samra Black/Gold Kate Boots/Booties Excellent craft,WOMENS ALDO Brown Oneriwien Boots/Booties Moderate price,Women's Taupe Women's Calf Sophia Boots/Booties Large selection,WOMENS White with Rainbow Boots/Booties Famous store,WOMENS Steve Madden Brown Leather Boots/Booties Reliable reputationWomen's Frye Black Diana Stitch Boots/Booties Sufficient supply,ladies Taupe Meds Boots/Booties settlement Price,LADY Tory Burch Metallic Silver Flats Elegant style,MISS Dolce Vita Tan Suede Boots/Booties Quality and quantity guaranteedwoman Vera Wang Black Walden Boots/Booties Let our goods go out into the world,ladies Prada Black Pointed Flats Qualified productionWomen's ALDO Brown Biesinger Boots/Booties Latest technology,Women's French Brown Boots/Booties Guarantee quality and quantity,ladies Ariat Sassy Brown Legend Boots/Booties Popular tide shoes,Ladies Old Gringo Brown/Cream Boots/Booties Big clearance sale,Ladies Salvatore Ferragamo Leather Loafers Flats Quality first,
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.”
Brand new, with tags. Never New. Super comfy.
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.women Valentino Fuchsia Ballerina Flats Charming design,
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.
WOMENS Frye Ash Suede Fringed Boots/Booties Low price,lady Linea Paolo Tan Boots/Booties New productWOMEN Eddie Bauer Red Boots/Booties New design,WOMENS Dr. Martens Silver Aimilie Boots/Booties The color is very noticeable,women Tory Burch Metallic/Silver Reva Flats environmentally friendly,ladies Balenciaga Black Ballet Flats German Outlets,womens Prada Nude Thong Sandals High quality and economy,MISS El Naturalista Brown Boots/Booties tender,WOMENS Via Spiga Black Leather Boots/Booties durability,MISS Kickers Black Boots/Booties Win highly appreciated,LADY Etienne Aigner Grey A14113l2020 Boots/Booties Rich on-time delivery,womens Airwalk Tan Suede Boots/Booties Excellent valueMISS Jeffrey Campbell Denim Boots/Booties Big clearance sale,Women's Sam Edelman Black Tammy Boots/Booties Most practicalLadies Del Toro Lady Bug Flats Low costs,ladies Marni Ox Blood Flats luxury,LADY Franco Sarto Brown Ankle Boots/Booties Hot sale,WOMENS Sam Edelman Brown Dark Boots/Booties quality Queen,womens Stuart Weitzman Black Alljack Boots/Booties Average costs,women Stella McCartney Grey Tall Boots/Booties Cheaper than the price,ladies Madden Girl Tan Gamer Boots/Booties special discount priceWomen's bebe Burgundy Boots/Booties Cheap order,womens Jeffrey Campbell Gray/Silver Boots/Booties Excellent featuresWomen's Tory Burch Fuschia Ballet Flats Exquisite (medium) workmanship,womens Prada Brown Flats Sale Italy,WOMEN Burberry Black Jelly Thong Sandals New products in 2136,lady Promod Brown Leather Boots/Booties Stylish and charming,WOMENS Vero Cuoio Black Leather Boots/Booties German Outlets,womens Nine West Black Combat Boots/Booties Cheapest,womens Giuseppe Zanotti Gray Boots/Booties Popular tide shoes,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
ladies Tory Burch Blue A72a Sandals clearance sale,“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.
MISS Hinge Black Suede Slip-on Boots/Booties Comfort,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 BCBGeneration Grey Isanna Boots/Booties New design,
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.MISS Two Lips Taupe Boots/Booties Hot sale,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
MISS Hunter Ocean Blue Wellington Boots/Booties Long-term reputation,“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 Calvin Klein Black Lulah Boots/Booties Stylish,
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.Women's Missoni Orange Multi Espadrille Flats special discount price,
It’s part of the gig.
WOMENS Zara Black Spring/Summer 2016 Flats Strong heat and heat resistance,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.
Ladies Andrea Carrano Brown No Boots/Booties trendy,“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.”LADY L.L.Bean Brown Hiking Boots/Booties to buy,