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.
Frye Black Anna Cuff Pull On Boots/Booties,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.Valentino Black 100mm Rouge-ish Leather Patent Boots/Booties,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Salvatore Ferragamo Black Gold Rufia Boots/Booties,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 Black Highland In Suede Boots/Booties,“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.”Cole Haan Brown Leather Ankle 6b Boots/Booties,
Vince Camuto Black Lux Tie Dye Franell - Notched Boots/BootiesVince Camuto Brown Faythe Ankle Strap 016 Chocolate Decadence Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black Otk Suede Over-the-knee Boots/Booties,Saint Laurent Black Yves Croc Embossed Patent Leather Platform Boots/Booties,Prada Black Brown Ankle Suede Silver Fall 2015 35.5 Boots/Booties,Ralph Lauren Collection Brown Sabeen Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Navy Quilted Flannel and Black Leather Riding Boots/Booties,Ariat Black 10012844 Gilded Gypsy Old West Western Women's Boots/BootiesCole Haan Brown New Hayes Strap Ankle Boots/Booties,Valentino Black New Rockstud Ankle Leather 38 Boots/Booties,Frye Dark Brown Fiona 3 Strap Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Suede So Kate 100 Leather Ankle 38 Boots/BootiesSaint Laurent Black New Ysl Babies Suede Ankle Boots/Booties,Burberry Beige Black Red Creme Multicolor Nova Check Woven Canvas Knee-high Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Brown Lowland Over The Knee Suede Boots/Booties,Les Copains Black Venice Nero Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Brown Taupe 'give It Up" Stretchy Suede Heel Platform Pull-on Boots/BootiesAlexander McQueen Black Leather Eyelet Cuff Ankle Boots/Booties,Sergio Rossi Black Leather Studded Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Belle 85 Calf Leather Zipper Heel Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black Longlegs Embellished Knit Over-the-knee Boots/Booties,Teva Dark Brown De La Vina Tall Leather Boots/Booties,Prada Black Leather Platform Ankle Boots/Booties,Via Spiga Black New Beckett Leather Boots/BootiesVince Camuto Black Womens Fantasia Riding Medium Boots/Booties,Burberry Prorsum Black Wingtip Wedge Boots/BootiesStuart Weitzman Bronze Metallic Crushable Sable Old Napa Boots/Booties,Lucky Brand Brown Lorry Pointed Toe Ankle Toffee Boots/Booties,Isabel Marant Brown Tan Leather Western 'dicker' Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Brown Women's Modest Ankle Boots/Booties,
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.”
Size 6 and 7 Description
The Andre Assous Pelle Boot allows you to make a smooth transition from office to party look. Featuring angular slits at the top, this mid-calf boot creates a fashionable style. It has wide elastic goring panels at the side, which ensure a precise fit every time. With a reinforced shaft, this boot offers excellent stability and support to your gait. . Leather
Leather and Rubber sole
Elastic gore side for easy pull on fit
Non marking sole
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.Kenneth Cole Brown Reaction Hot Step Western 446 Toffee / 35 Eu Boots/Booties,
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.
Giambattista Valli Black New Crystal Embellished Heel Suede Tall Boots/Booties,Valentino Tan Brown Classic Rockstud Suede Leather Ankle 85mm Block-heel Strappy Boots/BootiesDonald J. Pliner Brown Suede Eppie - Su Boots/Booties,Brown Avery Grommet Cowgirl Women's Boots/Booties,Chocolate Brown Suede Leather Embroidered Boots/Booties,Black Knee High Stretch Pull On Euc Boots/Booties,Saint Laurent Black Yves Suede and Patent Leather Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black Mane Leather Over Knee Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Suede 37.5 It Daffodile Platform Alti High Heel Lady Fashion Red Sole Ankle Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Banjo 100mm 38/7-7.5 Spiked Cap Toe Leather Boots/Booties,Brown Adisonn Zip Ankle 483 Dark Roast Boots/Booties,Nine West Brown Peekaboo Ankle Boots/BootiesRag & Bone Chestnut Classic Newbury Boots/Booties,Frye Light Brown Buckle Wrap Around Boots/Booties,Prada Black Leather Low Heel Ankle Boots/Booties,Alexander Wang Black X H&m Boots/BootiesJimmy Choo Black Minerva Over The Knee Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Crochinetta 100 Suede Velour Pointed Toe Platform Ankle Heel Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black Dayno 85 Boots/Booties,Dark Brown Blow New Boots/BootiesFrye Brown 'veronica Slouch' Leather Riding Leather Boots/Booties,Zara Brown Leather Made In Spain Boots/BootiesRag & Bone Distressed Black And Abbey Riding Boots/BootiesThe North Face Black Abby Iv Women's Boots/BootiesDior Black Tall Leather Knee Boots/Booties,Salvatore Ferragamo Black Nando Gold Chain Strap Leather Boots/Booties,Burberry Prorsum Black Assendon Open Toe Boots/Booties,Frye Brown Sacha Oiled Suede Over The Knee Boots/Booties,Frye Brown 77570 Villager Pull On Suede Cowgirl Women's Boots/BootiesNine West Green Brown Suede Leather Ankle Boots/Booties,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
adidas Brown Hi Tops - Park Winter Hi - Mesa Boots/Booties,“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 Charcoal Broome Flate Irish Charcoal/Irish 5.5m Boots/Booties,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 Vanity 234454 Bth00 Boots/Booties,
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.Givenchy Black Shark Lock High Boots/Booties,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Aquatalia Brown New Snake Print Ankle Boots/Booties,“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.Bottega Veneta Brown/Beige Brown/Beige Leather and Canvas Knee 38.5/ 8.5 338274 2589 Boots/Booties,
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 Dark Brown Eloise Riding Boots/Booties,
It’s part of the gig.
Frye Black Dara Chelsea Oiled Suede Ankle Boots/Booties,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.
Seychelles Black Suede Opulant Over The Knee Boots/Booties,“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.”Tory Burch Black Grace Equestrian Riding Leather Boots/Booties,