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.
Donald J. Pliner Gold Viv-ant8 Sandals 137 Platino/Platino Mules/Slides,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.Tory Burch Black ' Janey ' 50mm Calf Leather Pumps,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Tory Burch Dulce De Leche 215 32944 Pumps,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.
Vince Camuto Black Sammson Peep Toe Strappy Dress Sandals Pumps,“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.”Vince Camuto Nude Patent Leather Peep Toe Kiley 10) Pumps,
Dior Nude and Black Kcc227psss14u PumpsCéline Meteora Multi Strap Heels 39.5 Pumps,Christian Louboutin Nude Patent - Pigalle Leather 100mm PumpsRag & Bone Python Creme Tristan Suede Snake-embossed Leather Sandals Mules/Slides,Christian Louboutin Red T-strap Peep Toe Patent Pumps,Dolce&Gabbana Purple D&g Suede Sneakers Sneakers,Stuart Weitzman Wine Patent Leather Pointed Pumps,Miu Miu Denim Denim/Leather Pointed Toe Heels Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black Jonatina 100 Pvc Transparent Ankle Strap Sandal Stiletto Heel Pumps,Via Spiga Black Ned Suede Sling Pumps,DKNY Purple New Slip On Women’s Fashion Sneakers Sneakers,Lanvin Creamxblack Cream & Black Leather Heelsx (150442) Pumps,RED Valentino Leopard Print with Bow Leather Pumps,Dansko Sable Brown Limited Edition Mules/Slides,Guess Brown Parris Platform Ankle Strap Sandals 160 Dark Natural / 38 PumpsCole Haan Brown Sale Heels Heels Pumps,Martinez Valero Olive Green 72-2151 Mules/Slides,Céline Beige Leather and Coffee Brown Suede Pointed-toe Court Pumps,Black Women's 8/Eur 39 Leather Smooth Slip On Casual Mules/Slides,Badgley Mischka Navy Satin Giana Embellished D'orsay Peeptoe Pumps,French Connection Burgundy Elmira M PumpsRobert Clergerie Brown Made In France Round Pumps,Dolce&Gabbana Brown Dolce & Gabbana Signature Summer Avant Garde Heel Multicolor 37 Leopard Pumps,Poetic License Black and White Och Pumps,Red Circle Footwear Black Ariana Point Sling Pumps,G.I.L.I. Camocork Pointed Toe Stitched Padded Insole Jill Camo Cork-8.5m Pumps,Givenchy Black Leather Pointed Toe Classic W/ Silver-toned Ring Pumps,Brian Atwood Brown Leopard Platform Pony Hair Pumps,Salvatore Ferragamo Tan Calf Lizard Pumps,Miu Miu Grey Green Pink Mules/Slides,
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.”
Python and snakeskin pointy toed mules. Euc. Vintage.
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.Pedro Garcia Blush Nude Aneley 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.
Cole Haan Black Leather Heels Career Office Pumps,Salvatore Ferragamo Black Glossy Vara Pumps,Via Spiga Black Slingback Fiamma Pumps,Alexandre Birman Black Peep Toe Leather Pumps,Tod's Brown Like New Loafer Style Pumps,Oscar de la Renta Black & Gold 4601-34-001 Pumps,Super Dry White Men's Sneakers Sneakers,Givenchy Black Elegant Studded Leather Mules/Slides,3.1 Phillip Lim Black and Metallic Silver Leather Mules/Slides,Salvatore Ferragamo Black Calf Hair Logo Detail Heel PumpsSalvatore Ferragamo Dark Navy Signature Low Heels PumpsVince Camuto Red Lorrana Peep Toe Heeled Sandals Rose / 40 Eu Pumps,Valentino Dark Brown Classic Chsoe 36/6m Sy Pumps,Prada Metallic Silver High Heels Multi-color Threading 37.5 Pumps,Alice + Olivia Black/White Dina Striped Pumps,Christian Louboutin Red Blue Black Classic Harler 100mm Ankle Cuff D'orsay Leather Point-toe Sandals Pumps,Nike Womens Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Training 704695 015 Sneakers,Bjorndal Taupe Tan Brown Fire 133 100 4 - 1 Mules/Slides,Miu Miu Black Leather Slingback Gold Metal Buckle Pink Lining Mules/Slides,Delman Brown /Pale Grayish Purple 2 Pr."Libby" Wool/Suede Low Heel Pumps,Stuart Weitzman Black Patent Leather Bow Kitten Pumps,Badgley Mischka White Cream Strappy Feathered Heels PumpsSteven by Steve Madden Dark Green Ravesh Pumps,Betsey Johnson Black Feather Heels PumpsChristian Louboutin Black And Grey Classic Pigalle Follies 100mm Flanelle Camouflage Leather Pumps,adidas White with Copper Stan Sneakers,Rag & Bone Black Luis Studded Mules/SlidesGuess Orange Ara Studded Peep Toe Pumps 905 Suede Mules/Slides,Jimmy Choo Beige / Brown Pumps,Oscar de la Renta Navy Runway Riley Square Toe Suede Patent Block Pumps
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Superga Metallic Blue 2750 Sneaker Sneakers,“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.
Stuart Weitzman Silver Swarovski Crystal Gunmetal Platform Mules/Slides,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.”Anthropologie Gold Rakish & Roughhewn Heels By Hoss Pumps,
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.Stuart Weitzman Black and Sliver 05647 Pumps,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
ElyseWalker Los Angeles Dark Blue White Pumps,“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.Guess By Marciano White "Amy" Leather 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.Roger Vivier Maroon Suede Buckle Pumps,
It’s part of the gig.
Saint Laurent Black Tribute Paris Patent Leather Platform 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.
Rebecca Minkoff White with Tiny Silver Studs Michelle Leather Sneakers Sneakers,“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.”Burberry Pink Nova Check Sale Mules/Slides,