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.
Giorgio Armani Golden Beige New Luxury Genuine Leather & Suede Pointed Toe D'orsay Stiletto Pumps,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.Christian Louboutin Black Pigalle Follies Patent 85mm Pumps,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Seychelles Silver Peachy Metalic Leather Gladiator Wedges,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.
Manolo Blahnik Leopard/Gold/Nude Sexy Slingback Nude/Leopard/Gold Metallic Mules/Slides,“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 Black Bryce Patent Leather Wedge Sally Reva Mules/Slides,
Vans Men Black Ball Hi Sf (Black) Men's Skate SneakersManolo Blahnik Bronze Gold Carolyne - PumpsManolo Blahnik Brown Slip On Heels Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black Galeria Watersnake Roccia Studded Sandal Stiletto Pumps,HeartSoul Black Burnish Funky Hippie Chick Cheyenne Beaded Toe Ring Sandals PumpsChristian Louboutin Black Yellow Tucsy 100 Glitter Leather Jazz 37.5 Pumps,Christian Louboutin Gold Barry Metallic Loafers Slip Mules/Slides,Munro American Black Round Toe Chunkyheel Pumps,Puma Cream Suede Classic Ft SneakersChristian Louboutin Black Bow Red Sole Skimmer Pointy Toe Flat Pumps,adidas Olive Green Maroon Burgundy Womens Nmd Nomad Ba7752 SneakersTalbots Tan/Brown 7- Italian Leather Rounded Toe 2" Classic Pumps,Tory Burch Black Kitten Heel Pumps,Anne Klein Beige/Light Mustard Patent Leather Platform Peep Toe Mary Jane Stiletto Pumps,Rocket Dog Tan/Camel Suede Leather Clop Slip On Fleece Lined Mules/Slides,Tory Burch Multicolor New Ivory Painted Iris Mules/Slides,Ralph Lauren Brown Collection Women's Peep Toe Stiletto PumpsMedium and Dark Brown Pony Fur Heels Pumps,Lauren Ralph Lauren Black Classic Leather Mules/Slides,Christian Louboutin Gold Pigalle Follies 100 Platine Metallic Crinkled Classic Stiletto Heel PumpsTory Burch Royal Tan Gigi New In Box Pumps,Diane von Furstenberg Leopard Serena Pumps3.1 Phillip Lim Black Aria High Heel Sandal Mules/Slides,Christian Louboutin Green Joli Noeud Pumps,Prada Gray 38 / - Suede Leather Hidden Platform Heels 120 Pumps,Salvatore Ferragamo Neutral Beige and White Susi Patch Pumps,Nike Black/White Air Force 1 '07 Sneakers,Nine West Black Ruffle Slingback PumpsManolo Blahnik Pink Sequined Ciuzzosa Pumps,Nike Hot Pink Black & Sneakers Sneakers,
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.”
An instep-baring d'Orsay cut adds to the allure of a pointy-toe pump cast in gorgeous genuine calf hair.
Genuine calf-hair (China) upper/synthetic lining and sole.
By Sam Edelman; imported.
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.Prada Black Patent Leather No Pumps,
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.
Columbia Sportswear Company Gray Women's Sneakers 11/ Eu 42 Walking Hiking Trail Sneakers,Cole Haan Kenna D20190 Black Calf Mules/Slides,Sergio Rossi Beige Suede and Leather Mules/SlidesManolo Blahnik Grey New Hangisi 70mm Cyrstal Embellised Satin 39 Pumps,Christian Louboutin Gruotta Glitter Bow Kitten Heels,Pedro Garcia Gray Satin Silk Pumps,Fendi Black 38.5 Decollete Vernice Pumps,Burberry Shiny Black Leather & "Nova Check" Heels / Pumps,Diane von Furstenberg Black Dvf Bianca PumpsDonald J. Pliner Brown Cessa Sneakers,Nike Women's Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe Sneakers Style/Color: 725061-800 Sneakers,Rebecca Minkoff Black Ingrid Suede Open Toe Mules/SlidesM.Gemi Brown W/ Leopard Print Pony Hair Mules/Slides,Tory Burch Black Kitten Heel Quilted Pumps,Vince Camuto Brown Kamaye Platform Dress Sandals 033 Rustic Suede Pumps,Tory Burch Royal Tan Nadia Pumps,Alexander Wang Black Leather Studded Chunky Heels Pumps,Dior Brown Christian Leather Stitched Pumps,adidas Blue Red Multi Zx Flux Xeno Sneakers,Nike Rose Gold Airmax Retro Sneakers,Manolo Blahnik Blue Gialimu Fabric (155654) Mules/Slides,Anne Klein Black Wedge In Suede Mules/Slides,Coldwater Creek Black Sassy Leather Reptile Print Kitten PumpsLinea Paolo White Pink Purple Green Pumps,Steve Madden Natural Beige Stecy Pumps,Via Spiga Gold Terelle Strappy Dress Sandals / 37.5 Eu Display Pumps,Tory Burch Beige / Black Nude and Cap Toe Pacey Leather Pumps,Christian Louboutin Platine Gold Metallic Pigalle Follies Specchio Vintage 100mm Pumps,Mizuno Purple Wave Prophecy 2 Sneakers,Dansko Red Oiled Leather Martina Mary Jane Buckle Mules/Slides
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Calvin Klein Sand Strappy Sandals Pumps,“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.
Loeffler Randall Abstract Print Leather Pumps,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.”Harajuku Lovers Off-white Multi I'm Just An Orange County Girl Sneakers,
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.Mustard / Khaki Magnolia / Mules/Slides,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
La Canadienne Black Ivy Suede Shearling Wedge Mules/Slides,“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.Salvatore Ferragamo Brown New Suede A A Pumps,
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.Tory Burch Samba Gigi Leather Heel Pumps,
It’s part of the gig.
Stuart Weitzman Silver Peep Tie Mary Jane Pumps,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 Black Suede Ankle Strap Gold Hardware Pumps,“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.”Giuseppe Zanotti Gray Glitter Peep-toe In Euro ~ Pumps,