Prada Dark Donna Brown/Ebano Suede Style Calzature Donna Dark - Color Boots/Booties 5fa9ff

Prada Dark Donna Brown/Ebano Suede Style Calzature Donna Dark - Color Boots/Booties 5fa9ff

Thanks for reading.

Subscribe to discover fast, unlimited access.

Prada Dark Donna Brown/Ebano Suede Style Calzature Donna Dark - Color Boots/Booties 5fa9ff.

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  ›

Prada Dark Donna Brown/Ebano Suede Style Calzature Donna Dark - Color Boots/Booties 5fa9ff


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.

Pajar Brown Women's Alina Waterproof Winter Snow Nwb 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.Steve Madden Brown Leather Troopa Boots/Booties,

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

Bed|Stü Black Leather Cobbler Series Statute 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.

Rag & Bone Black Nubuck Suede Harrow 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.”Stuart Weitzman Black Clute Quilted Tall Boots/Booties,

High-school experience

Manolo Blahnik Black Leather Stiletto Boots/BootiesDolce Vita Chestnut Haken Suede Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Broome Shearling Irish Charcoal Boots/Booties,Black Suede Bolt Boots/BootiesBurberry Black Women Suede Runway Nadie Fringe Ankle 39.5/Us 9.5 3993160 Boots/Booties,Zara Black New with Tags Leather Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Verusch 100 Stretch Leather Thigh High Boots/Booties,Minnetonka Brown 3 Tier Fringe Boots/BootiesStuart Weitzman Black Leather Ankle Boots/Booties,Dr. Martens Black Johari Combat Grunge Punk Boots/Booties,J.Crew Black Factory Bayley Buckle Item 04063 Boots/Booties,Kenneth Cole Brown Reaction Hot Step Western Cocoa / 36 Eu Boots/BootiesBurberry Beige Black New with Mark But No Signs Of Wear Tan and Burgundy Haymarket Check Backed Rubber Rain /5 Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Bellissima 100 Suede Boots/Booties,Vince Camuto Brown Slouchy Suede Boots/Booties,Lauren Ralph Lauren Brown Mesa Wide Calf Riding 886 Dark Brown/Dar Boots/BootiesMiu Miu Black New Patent Rainboots Boots/Booties,Alexander McQueen Black Velvet Biker Boots/Booties,Cole Haan Medium Brown Craftsmanship Boots/Booties,Prada Black Perforated Leather Knee-high Boots/Booties,Frye Whiskey Brown Dorango Style 77568 Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Beige Brown Neutrals Boots/Booties,Burberry Black Manor Ankle Pointed Toe Kitten Heel Boots/BootiesVersace Black Metallic Leather Tall 39) 209750 Boots/Booties,Rag & Bone Black/White Newbury Classic Nubuck Zip Ankle Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black Cheshire Rubber Pvc Stirrup Strap Rain Riding Tall Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Brown Tan Knee High Leather M Boots/Booties,B?rn Black Atilla Glossy Burnished Leather Tall Riding Boots/Booties,ALA?A Black Suede Mesh Peep Toe Zip Up Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Leather Round-toe Knee-high 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.”


New once maybe. No signs of wear.

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.

Yohji Yamamoto Black Y-3 Ruched Softest Leather Ankle Edgy Boots/Booties,

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.Black Knowles&co Leather and Suede 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.

Tory Burch Black Patent Leather Gold Accent Boots/BootiesLuciano Padovan Black Patent Leather Buckled Knee High Boots/Booties,Ivy Kirzhner Black Multi New Antarctic Leather Sheep Shearling Comfortable Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Suede 37 It Knee High Heel Lady Alti Pump Thigh Red Sole Zip Toe Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black 31216 Flanaveck 120 Tall Red Sole Boots/BootiesClarks Khaki (Dark Brown) Kadri Liana Boots/BootiesALDO Brown Sivley - 28 Boots/BootiesFrye Brown Shirley Otk Riding Boots/Booties,Dr. Martens Brown Docs Leather Vintage Boots/BootiesStuart Weitzman Black Raceway Leather Riding Boots/Booties,Diane von Furstenberg Black Beckett Leather Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Split Suede Sabe 65mm Boots/BootiesKenzo Black Leather Logo Embellished Platform Knee-high Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Simple 85 Calf Vip Boots/Booties,Joan & David Brown Dameranda Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Brown You 3w47693 Boots/Booties,Vince Camuto Rich Cocoa Vc-kab02 Calf Boots/Booties,Frye Black 77439 Smith Harness Short Leather Motorcycle Boots/Booties,3.1 Phillip Lim Black Alexa Leather and Nubuck Ankle Boots/Booties,Chloé Black Susannah Studded Leather Ankle Boots/BootiesBurberry Black Roscot Waterproof Riding 40/10 (X2) Boots/BootiesIsabel Marant Black Tracy Pony Hair Suede Boots/Booties,Via Spiga Black New Beckett Leather Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Chatain Brown Tiagadaboot Suede 70mm Red Sole Boots/Booties,Brunello Cucinelli Khaki Bronze Brown Grey Gray Ankle 35.5 Boots/BootiesSteve Madden Cognac (Brown) Brewzzer Leather Belted Mid-calf Boots/Booties,Miu Miu Black Patent Leather Sexy Boots/BootiesAllSaints Black Jules Heeled Women's Boots/Booties,Giuseppe Zanotti Black Sidney Leather Gold Heel Ankle 39 Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black Reserve Nappa Leather Boots/Booties,

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

Donald J. Pliner Brown Western Couture Collection 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.”

See by Chloé Dark Brown and Tan Delete Boots/Booties,
Brown Zip Up Leather with Gold Buckle Boots/Booties,

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

Arturo Chiang Brown Women's Enchant Riding 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.”Dan Post Boots Black Ostrich 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.Prada Black Nylon Neoprene Wedge Mid Calf Boots/Booties,

It’s optional, but encouraged.

Stuart Weitzman Black Villepentagon Tall 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.Christian Louboutin Black Arnoeud 40 It High Heel Women Lady Fashion Toe Pump Suede Ankle 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.Burberry Black "Overfield" Pebbled Leather Boots/Booties,

It’s part of the gig.

Donald J. Pliner Brown Leather Hairclaf Cowgirl 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.

Brown with Silver Hardware Made In Italy Soft Leather 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.”Jean-Michel Cazabat Brown/Gray Brown/Gray Leather Peep-toe 7.5 Boots/Booties,

Brown London Vegan Leather Boots/Booties,

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.