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.
Nine West Black Shiryl Tall Slouch Pull On Suede 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.Coclico Black Leather Made In Italy Wedge Boots/Booties,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Christian Louboutin Black High Heel Lady Zip Toe Red Otk It Over Knee Patent Leather 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 Plathighland Over The Knee 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.”The Original Car Shoe Brown Women's Suede Knee High Boots/Booties,
Anthropologie Light Brown New (Sixty Seven) Suede Boots/Booties,Pedro Garcia Brown Suede Sofia Boots/BootiesBurberry Black with Trim Lancaster Rain Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Leather Zoulou Peep-toe Platform Boots/Booties,Hillard & Hanson Light Brown M Leather Very Good Condition Boots/Booties,Lucchese Cherry Black Man 1883 Genuine Ostrich Western Cowboy Boots/Booties,Nine West Dark Brown Trivett Boots/BootiesBlack Serano Combat 560 Black/Mist / 36.5 Eu Boots/Booties,B?rn Black Joly Style F35503 Knee-high Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Leather Tucson Boots/BootiesIvanka Trump Brown Suede Leather Ankle Boots/Booties,Prada Black Platform Tall Leather Boots/BootiesNina Ricci Grey & Black Python Suede Bow Ankle Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Top Croche Suede Gunmetal Otk Thigh High Boots/Booties,Sam Edelman Dark Brown Petty Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Patent Black Logo Rainboot Boots/BootiesSigerson Morrison Stone/Black Women's Garnet Dress Pump Boots/Booties,Frye Chocolate Jenna Studded Brown Leather Tall Buckle Boots/Booties,Tamara Mellon Black Polo Patent Leather 90mm Heels Boots/Booties,Antonio Melani Brown New Leather Knee High Boots/Booties,Joan & David Brown Dahynes Croc Print Knee High Boots/Booties,Brown & Pink Boots/Booties,Seychelles Black and Brown Orchestra Boots/BootiesPrada Brown Leather Crescent 35.5 (21387) Boots/Booties,Chloé Peanut Butter and Brown Suede Boots/Booties,Burberry Tan ( Black Red and White) with Stripe Prorsum Rain Boots/Booties,Frye Light Brown Reina Belt Boots/Booties,Donna Karan Black Ny Leather Shearling Trim Platform Boots/Booties,Vince Camuto Brown Faythe Ankle Strap 016 Chocolate Decadence Boots/Booties,Fendi Brown Women's Zucca Rubber Rain 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.”
Treat Metallic Elastic Wedge Booties NEW IN BOX
Size 8 - Marcasite (Black)
Intricate moc stitching details a suede wedge desert boot styled with a funnel collar and a stretch-inset vamp overlay
Crafted from shimmer-treated leather, Eileen Fisher's wedge booties give off subtle sheen and offer walkable, day-to-night height
Per manufacturer: Fits true to size
- Moc toe
- Suede construction
- Topstitched detail
- Elastic-inset strap at vamp
- Padded insole
- Wedge heel and platform
- Approx. 3.5" shaft height, 11.8" opening circumference
- Approx. 3" heel, 1" platform
Suede upper, manmade sole
Brand new directly from the warehouse in original box with dust bag- have NOT been abNew in a store
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.Cole Haan Caramel Brown Vintage Italian Leather Low Heel Ankle 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.
Ivy Kirzhner Black New Parachute Stud Boots/BootiesCole Haan Brown New Auden Waterproof Leather Wedge Boots/Booties,Burberry Brown Lysterfield Ankle Classic Check 38/8 M Boots/Booties,Brown Luz Bruciato Boots/Booties,Miu Miu Brown and Khaki Military Style Boots/Booties,Frye Black Motorcycle Casual Leather Boots/Booties,Jerome C. Rousseau Black Leather Platform Hoc Boots/Booties,Roger Vivier Black Trompette Suede Boots/BootiesRag & Bone Black Harrow Perforated Leather Ankle Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Lamu Leather Platform Ankle High Heel Lady Fashion Red Sole Boots/Booties,Brown Suede Boots/Booties,Franco Sarto Brown Black Faux Leather Knee High Buckled Boots/Booties,Frye Dark Brown Washed Vintage Jamie Artisan Short Boots/Booties,Minnetonka Brown Classic Fringe Hardsole Boots/Booties,Frye Black Molly D-ring Short Boots/BootiesStuart Weitzman Black Suede Tall Wedge Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black T Simone Leather Logo Tall Riding Boots/Booties,ALA?A Black Suede Silver Studded Boots/Booties,Valentino Black Rockstud Leather Gold Stud Knee High Tall Boots/Booties,White Mountain Brown Behari Pull On Ankle Chestnut Boots/Booties,Matt Bernson Brown with Greeninsh Undertones New Warm Winter Boots/Booties,Seychelles Dark Brown Footlights Woven Leather Boots/Booties,L.K. Bennett Black/ Indigo Brooke Designer Ankle Eur 36 Boots/BootiesAriat Black * Women's Salen Western Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Simone Suede Leather Over The Knee Split Reva Riding Boots/Booties,Valentino Black Over The Knee Rockstud Boots/Booties,Bottega Veneta Black Intrecciato Tall Boots/Booties,Dolce Vita Brown Over The Knee Suede Faux Fur Block Boots/BootiesElizabeth and James Brown Chocolate Leather Suede Ankle Boots/BootiesOld Gringo Black Brown and Tan Sonia Hand Tooled Boots/Booties,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Jeffrey Campbell Black Patent Leather 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.
Rag & Bone Black Emil Combat 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.”Stuart Weitzman Black Knee High Fringe Suede Winter Fall 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.Stuart Weitzman Black Napa Leather Peking Boots/Booties,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Frye Dark Brown Harlow Multi Strap 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.Prada Pebbled Brown Leather Riding 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.Santana Canada Brown Red - 'melita' Waterproof (Women) Boots/Booties,
It’s part of the gig.
Vic Matié Black Leather Indigo Platform Ankle with Navy Zippers 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.
Blondo Black Eden Leather and Stretch Pull On Knee High 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.”Valentino Black Rockstud Leather Fringe Biker Ankle Boots/Booties,