Alice + Olivia Brown Sasha Boots/Booties Boots/Booties Sasha d3a6a8

Alice + Olivia Brown Sasha Boots/Booties Boots/Booties Sasha d3a6a8

Thanks for reading.

Subscribe to discover fast, unlimited access.

Alice + Olivia Brown Sasha Boots/Booties Boots/Booties Sasha d3a6a8.

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  ›

Alice + Olivia Brown Sasha Boots/Booties Boots/Booties Sasha d3a6a8


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.

Ralph Lauren Collection Brown Womens Leather Belted Heel Platform 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.Nine West Green/Brown Camo Nbo 1010 Boots/Booties,

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

Marc by Marc Jacobs Black Quilted 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.

Louise et Cie Black New Tallen Suede Over The Knee 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 Nudunkirk Women's Boots/Booties,

High-school experience

Black Suede Astor 4001 Boots/BootiesTory Burch Brita Brown Riding Boots,Ralph Lauren Brown Cognac Soft Leather Sexy Pointed Toe 2.5" Ankle Boots/Booties,ALA?A Black Suede Silver Stud Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black On Black Rowan Riding Boots/Booties,Brian Atwood Black Lth Suede Belted Buckle Platform Heel Niki Ankle Boots/BootiesJimmy Choo Brown Suede Wrap-strap Boots/Booties,Burberry Black Harlestone Women's M Euro 40 Boots/BootiesTory Burch Black Blossom 70mm Boots/Booties,Valentino Black Garavani Suede Studded Combat Ankle In Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black Stretch Suede Over Knee Elevated Boots/Booties,Donald J. Pliner Bronze Joya Western Ankle Boots/BootiesGianvito Rossi Black Buckled-strap Leather Ankle Boots/Booties,Giuseppe Zanotti Black Monochrome Printed Ponyhair Ankle Boots/Booties,Eürosoft by S?fft Brown Makayla Suede Snake Embossed Ankle Boots/Booties,American Eagle Outfitters Light Brown / Gray Fall Boots/BootiesSteve Madden Black Moto Studded Boots/Booties,Cole Haan Black Leather Oxford Boots/BootiesRag & Bone Brown Durham Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Troopista 120 Boots/Booties,Givenchy Black Perfection Tall Rider Boots/Booties,Vibram Black Leather Studded Motorcycle Knee High Rubber Lug Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black New Sohot Nappa Leather Knee High Boots/BootiesCole Haan Black Over The Knee Boots/BootiesTory Burch Brown Bristol Leather Equestrian Boots/Booties,Vince Camuto Black Basira Pebbled Leather Wide Calf Riding Boots/Booties,Brown Inc Fedee Harness Strap Riding Cement Display Boots/Booties,Giuseppe Zanotti Black Vicini Women's Fur Lined Ankle Boots/Booties,Attilio Giusti Leombruni Black New Carla Napa Leather Ankle Boots/BootiesDonald J. Pliner Brown Santo Block Heel Ankle Saddle/Saddle Dis 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.”


Alice + Olivia
Brown Pasha Platform Scrunch Boot
Purchased from Neiman Marcus few moths ago practically brand new except for bottom of shoe sole from walking these boots are amazingly comfortable super chic and go with anything from a baby doll dress to jeans and a t

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.

Christian Louboutin Black Platform 37 It Knee High Heel Lady Ankle Pump Alti Zip Red Sole 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.Christian Louboutin Black Amor 160 Nappa 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.

Rag & Bone Black and White Harrow Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black Mendez Suede (7) Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Caitlin Stretch Mid Calf Boots/Booties,Alexander Wang Tan and Black Kirby Suede Ankle Boots/BootiesAlexander Wang Black Suede Gabi Thigh High Cut Out Boots/BootiesFranco Sarto Brown Light Brown Two Tone Suede Leather Knee High Zip Up Rare Pointed Boots/Booties,Frye Brown Distressed Deborah Deco Boots/Booties,Frye Light Brown Veronica Short Boots/Booties,Melissa Black Scented Long Flocked Knee High Winter Boots/BootiesBurberry Beige Black Tan Burgundy Exploded Check Backed Rubber Rain Boots/BootiesFrye Black Women's Leather Riding 8.5b Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black Rabbit Fur and Leather Biker Boots/BootiesRoberto Cavalli Black New Textured Leather Over The Knee It. Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black New Over The Knee Sexy Boots/Booties,Lucky Brand Brown Lahela Ankle 052 Sable / 39 Eu Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Brown Tall Leather Boots/BootiesOld Gringo Espresso Brown and Metallic White Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black Suede Fringe 37.5 Boots/Booties,Black Suede Bolt Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Sofia Tall Leather Riding Boots/Booties,Giuseppe Zanotti Black Leather Chain-link Boots/Booties,Giuseppe Zanotti Black Olinda Suede Open Slip Boots/BootiesPrada Brown Capra Antic Leather Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Brown Aubergine Suede Ankle Fur Boots/Booties,BCBGMAXAZRIA Brown Bcbg Max Azria Runway Snakeskin Boots/Booties,Fiel Chocolate Suede Midi Moto Boots/Booties,Marc by Marc Jacobs Black Harper Suede Leather Ankle Wedge Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black Britanna Wedge Boots/BootiesIsabel Marant Black Suede Rowi Mods Ankle Boots/Booties,Burberry Black Garton Shearling and Nubuck Leather Boots/Booties,

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

Stuart Weitzman Tan/Brown Suede Perforated Inandout Ankle 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.”

Jessica Simpson Brown Leather Leather Boots/Booties,
Ecco Dark Brown Comfort Loafer Boots/Booties,

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

Columbia Sportswear Company Brown/Purple Montrail Trx Ultra Xt Outdoor Cross Training 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.”Tory Burch Black Sarah Rain 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.Dolce Vita Black New Henrietta Platform Leather Boots/Booties,

It’s optional, but encouraged.

Attilio Giusti Leombruni Black Made In Italy Suede Leather Silver Buckle High Calf 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.Giuseppe Zanotti Black Buckled Suede Platform 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.Gianvito Rossi Black Kat High Boots/Booties,

It’s part of the gig.

Tracy Reese Brown Plenty By Reanna Suede Leather Heels 38 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.

FLY London Chocolate Suede Buckled 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.”Frye Dark Brown Fryers Harness Boots/Booties,

The North Face Rope Brown/Barrel Brown Abby Iii 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.