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 Pink / Red Filipa 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.Stella McCartney Blue Elyse Stars Derbys Wedges,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Tory Burch Brown Honey Leather with Gold Hardware 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.
Christian Louboutin Multicolor 39 Cataclou 140mm Cork Blooming Sandals A13 Wedges,“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.”Ann Marino Shimmery Steel Grey Dress Formal Shoes,
Jimmy Choo Pink Calder.5 Formal Shoes,Saint Laurent Brown Ysl Imperiale Suede Ankle Cross Wrap Strap Heels Pump 39.5 Platforms,Madewell Black Studded Suede Mini Ballerinas Wedges,Jimmy Choo Black and Gold Na Formal Shoes,Tory Burch Nude Caroline In Wedges,Dsquared2 Orange New Dsq2 Suede Leather Open-toe T-strap Tassel Detail Sandals Wedges,Navid O Nadia Red Tonier Formal Shoes,Kelsi Dagger Taupe Tan Alton Slingback Sandal Wedges,Prada Gold Braided Rattan Sandal Wedges,Badgley Mischka Bride White Sasha Pump Formal ShoesTory Burch Camellia Pink Penny Slide Wedges,Pour La Victoire Blac Suede with Rhinestones PlatformsChristian Louboutin Nude Lady Peep 150 Patent Leather PlatformsChristian Louboutin Black Patent Calf Lady Peep 150 Platforms,Kenneth Cole Reaction Black and Tan Leather Urban City Wedges,K. Jacques Orande Leather 'diorite' Cork Platform Sandals Wedges,Guess Silver Gold Black Glittery PlatformsBrian Atwood Silver Metallic Fontanne Iridescent Leather Platforms,Jimmy Choo Nude/Tan Peep Toe Platforms,Giorgio Armani Grey Suede Leather Pumps Sandals Eu 39.5 Platforms,Badgley Mischka White Milly Evening Satin Wedges,Salvatore Ferragamo Black Leather Pump Wedges,Ivanka Trump Hettie Black Suede Platforms,Valentino Taupe Rockstud Leather Strap Espadrille Wedges,Christian Louboutin Orange Overnight Shipping Charge For Cataclou Wedges,Christian Louboutin Tan Vivi 120 Plik Calf Wedges,Bottega Veneta Black and Taupe Lizard Skin Sandal WedgesDior Black Patent Leather Cut Out Bow Cork Sandals 7 Wedges,Tahari Nude Beige Tan Nude/Beige/Tan Patent Leather Peep-toe Pump Platforms,Christian Louboutin Multicolor Sneke Daffodile Platforms,
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.”
Fendi Brown Suede Slingback Peep Toe Platform Sandals Size EU36 -US6
* Toe: Open Toe
* Style of Sandal: Platform Slingback
* Platform height: 3/4 "
Heel: 4 1/2 "
Size: EU 36 - US 6
PRE-OWNED: Very Good Condition Some Wear on Sole and Heel
Made in Italy
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.Christian Louboutin Black Glitter Lady Peep 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.
Prada Black Patent Leather 36.5 Wedges,Geox Black D Rorie Women's Roxy Heel Sandal Wedges,Burberry Tan Black Red Nova Check Espadrille Wedges,Tory Burch Amanda Blue Demi Wedges,Brunello Cucinelli Tan Women's Rustic Leather Penny Loafers Formal Shoes,Nina Ricci Silver New York Formal Shoes,RED Valentino Brown /Tan Open Toe Pumps Platforms,Christian Louboutin Black Chartleze 160 Platforms,Antik Denim Red Gold Sexy Textured Patent Leather Beekaboo Open Toe PlatformsBurberry White Patent Bridle House Check Leeham Espadrille Wedges,J. Adams Red Suede Molli Closed Wedges,Badgley Mischka Blush Abigail Satin Peep Toe Heels M Wedges,Matt Bernson Brown Leather Knot Wedges,Ann Taylor Navy Beige N Bella Open Toe Casual Sandals Wedges,Manolo Blahnik Black Satin Formal Shoes,Christian Louboutin Leopard Print "Lady" Spike Pump Platforms,Jimmy Choo Silver Glitter Fabric Champagne PlatformsPrada Black & Silver Sandals PlatformsDiane von Furstenberg Lime Green Dvf Eva Citron Suede Heels Scatf Tie Platforms,Steve Madden White with Poka Dot Wedges,Calvin Klein Cream with Black Wedges,Via Spiga Black Izett Espadrille Sandals 521 / 36 Eu Wedges,Elizabeth and James Black Suede Leather Cork Sandals B Wedges,CoSTUME NATIONAL Beige Black Leather Open Toe Ankle Boot Wedges,Anne Klein Beige Slingback Heels Formal ShoesChristian Louboutin Black Patent Bianca Pumps PlatformsChristian Louboutin Black Big Lips Platforms,Miu Miu Black Patent Leather Peep Toe Platforms,Sergio Rossi Forest Green Scarpe Donna PlatformsAnyi Lu Black Rose Metalic Suede/Black Rose Wedges,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Versace Black Medusa Zipper Peep Toe Wedge Booties 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.”
Education is paramount to the junior-hockey experience. If a player falls behind on his studies, it reflects on his playing time.
Tory Burch Quarry Rock Caroline 2 65mm 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.”Isabel Marant Brown Khaki Suede Etoile Bobby Sneakers 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.Jimmy Choo Metalic Gold Rope Wrapped Espadrille Sandals Wedges,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Christian Louboutin Black and White Lagoa Leather Wedges,“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.Ivanka Trump White Janie Asimmetrical Pumps 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 Rosette 3151139 Formal Shoes,
It’s part of the gig.
Giuseppe Zanotti Pink Magenta Beige Tan Nude Flio Suede 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.
Christian Louboutin Taupe Snake Skin 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.”Black and White Titus Suede Trimmed Croheted Mesh Loafers Platforms,