Steve Black Madden Black Steve and Silver Hamilton Wedges 4c9f56

Steve Black Madden Black Steve and Silver Hamilton Wedges 4c9f56

Thanks for reading.

Subscribe to discover fast, unlimited access.

Steve Black Madden Black Steve and Silver Hamilton Wedges 4c9f56.

Sorry, your subscription does not include this content.

Please call 866-735-5631 to upgrade your subscription.

You are the owner of this article.
Share this  ›

Steve Black Madden Black Steve and Silver Hamilton Wedges 4c9f56


Coulee Region Chill’s Jackson Decker skates during practice on Thursday at Green Island Ice Arena. Decker does double duty, playing for the Chill while also attending Holmen High School.

  • Rory O’Driscoll, La Crosse Tribune

Holmen High School student Jackson Decker (center, gray hat) watches a basketball game with friends.

  • Rory O’Driscoll, La Crosse Tribune

Coulee Region Chill’s Jackson Decker skates during a recent practice at Green Island Ice Arena.

  • Rory O’Driscoll, La Crosse Tribune

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.

Tory Burch Black Trudy 85mm Peep Toe Patent Leather Wedges,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 Khaki Adonis Espadrille Wedges,

But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.

Charles by Charles David Black Oriel Platform Sandals 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.

Stuart Weitzman Gold Sling Back Formal Shoes,“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.”Rene Caovilla Silver Satin Strass Formal Shoes,

High-school experience

Sergio Rossi Black - Tessuto Crepe Satin Formal Shoes,Burberry Black Espadrille Nova Check Wedges,Prada White Platform Open-toe Leather Espadrilles Women 37.5 Wedges,Montego Bay Club Black Neutral M Good Condition Wedges,Moschino Black Satin Suede Rhinestone Sandal Formal Shoes,Charles by Charles David Nude Beige Aden Wespadrilles Sandals 267 Wedges,Apostrophe Silver Glam Heels Formal Shoes,Vera Wang Lavender Label Gold Wedges,Burberry Silver Leather with Trim WedgesPrada Black & Oxblood Leather Pointed-toe Loafers Formal Shoes,Tory Burch Beige Pacey Beige/Black Wedges,Miu Miu Black Peep Toe Patent PlatformsStuart Weitzman White Corkswoon Pumps Wedges,Anyi Lu Taupe and Papaya/Coral Daphne Wedges,Black / Beige Cara Leather Cork Sandals Eur 39.5 WedgesBurberry Black Nude Gold Brit Sandals Harbetons Sandal WedgesMiu Miu Denim New W/ Tag 2017 Platform Sandal Wedges,Jimmy Choo Silver 'baxen' Gunmetal Shimmer Wedges,Isabel Toledo Navy For Payless Wedges,Lilly Pulitzer Navy & White Polka Dot Slingback Wedges,CL by Laundry Nude New Women's Bow Peep M WedgesPrada Black Patent Leather T-strap Sandals Wedges,Manolo Blahnik Red D'orsay Formal Shoes,Stubbs & Wootton Nude Jute WedgesCharlotte Olympia Black Gold Dolly Platforms,Christian Louboutin Black 3160574 Formal Shoes,Burberry Black Bridlehouse Check Laleham Esparadille with Studs Wedges,Jimmy Choo Gold Metallic Sandals 37.5 Platforms,Jeffrey Campbell Ivory Python Lita Exotic PlatformsJessica Simpson Black Patent Damali Formal Shoes,

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.”


Great condition. Only wore them a couple of times. Very comfortable wedge sneakers. Silver studs in perfect condition.

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.

Jason Wu Yellow/Black Simone Strappy Sandal Platforms,

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.Alexander McQueen Red Skull Pumps Platforms,

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.

Saks Fifth Avenue Ave Striped Wedges,Oscar de la Renta Black Glitter 40) 476586 Wedges,Me Too Black Pony Hair Sandals Wedges,Kenneth Cole Gold Unlisted Kind Of Wedding Satin Rhinestone Heels Dress Dance Formal ShoesChristian Louboutin Black and Tan Platforms,Christian Louboutin Black Flamenco Fetish 150 Patent Loubitag Graffiti Peep Toe Pumps New PlatformsChiara Ferragni Black Cf1263 Sandals PlatformsAlice + Olivia Black & White And 38.5 (8-8.5) Carla Floral Sandals *current Style* PlatformsChaps Beige and Speckled Gold Wedges,Prada Pink Wooden Suede Leather Open Toe Mule Sandals Wedges,Christian Louboutin Brown Tobacco Leather Almeria 120 Espadrille Wedges,Anne Klein Black and Gold WedgesCole Haan Gray Oxfords Lunargrand Formal ShoesManolo Blahnik Gold Sequin Formal Shoes,Miu Miu Black and Silver Calzature Donna Platforms,Christian Louboutin Beige Alti Cork Platforms,Zara Snake/Python Print Wrap Around Heels Platforms,Casadei Platinum Pellame Triple-platform Pump Platforms,Tory Burch Royal Tan Sally 2 Peep Toe Pumps Wedges,Elizabeth and James Never Worn Brown Leather Wedges,Jimmy Choo Gold Baxen Metallic Sandle WedgesTory Burch Pansy Bouquet Floral Flip Flops Wedges,Cordovan By Kilitie Tassels Formal Shoes,Betsey Johnson Ivory New Sb-heidi Satin Crystal Bow Peep Toe Stiletto Heels Formal Shoes,Prada Pink Two Tone Suede Peep Toe Heels PlatformsChristian Louboutin Black Electropump 160mm Platforms,Black/White Zebra Print Ponyhair Swarovski Crystal PlatformsTory Burch Black Perforated Leather Espadrille Slides Wedges,Via Spiga Black & Putter Gray Wedges,Eürosoft by S?fft Black Zita Leather Slingback Black/Velvet Sheep Nappa Wedges,

For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.

Stuart Weitzman Red Candy Apple Patent Peep Toe Platforms,“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.”

Valentino Italy Brown Strappy Leather Wedge Heels 37.5,
Tory Burch Black Terri Canvas & Leather Slide Wedges,

Education is paramount to the junior-hockey experience. If a player falls behind on his studies, it reflects on his playing time.

Alexander Wang Nude Kasia / Alx20476 Wedges,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.”Saint Laurent Black Seta Calf Wedges,

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.Cole Haan Black Cap Toe Nike Air Bria Loafer Wedges,

It’s optional, but encouraged.

Luciano Padovan Silver and Gold Glamour 65 Silk Argento Formal Shoes,“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.Jimmy Choo Silver/Gold Unsure Formal Shoes,

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.Christian Louboutin Black + Red 22714058 Platforms,

It’s part of the gig.

Christian Louboutin Denim Miss Benin Pumps Platforms,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.

Shoes of Prey Turquoise Pink and Orange Tropical Punch Heels Platforms,“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.”Vince Camuto Tan Vc Torian Wedges,

BCBGMAXAZRIA Brown & Black Ami Leather Sandal Wedges,

Post a comment as


Watch this discussion. Stop watching this discussion.

(1) comment

Kurtis Body

Do they use sites like for their studies? Because I have some doubts

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.