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.
Calvin Klein Black Taylin Tumbled 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.adidas Ash Pearl/Core Black Ultraboost Pearl/Core Mens Sneakers Bb6174 Boots/Booties,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Stuart Weitzman Black Suede Otk Hilo 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.
Dior Silver White Black Metallic Grey Canvas Diorissimo Print Ankle 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 Black Air Avalon Riding Boots/Booties,
Alexander McQueen Black Asymmetrical-zip Suede Wedge Boots/BootiesJimmy Choo Light Brown Youth Suede Flat Midcalf Buckled Motorcycle Biker Flat 38.5 Boots/BootiesIsabel Marant Black Suede Tall Flat Boots/Booties,Frye Brown Distressed Deborah Deco Studded Boots/BootiesBurberry Black Jazmine Fri Suede Women's Bellow High 38 Boots/Booties,Brown New Boots/BootiesBed|Stü Black Leather Cobbler Series Statute Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Selma Riding Tumbled Leather Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Black with Gold Accessories Dixi Shiny Calf Boots/Booties,Pour La Victoire Black Kiko Soft Leather Mid Calf Leather Boots/BootiesSaint Laurent Black Leather Chelsea Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Round Toe Selden Boots,Manolo Blahnik Black Cut-Out Ankle Boots,Frye Charcoal Billy Pull On Boots/Booties,3.1 Phillip Lim Brown Suede Dolores Open Boots/BootiesFrye Brown Caroline Campus Pull On Wedge Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Brown Suede Leather Oxford Boots/Booties,Black Women's Leather Mid Calf I Boots/Booties,Ralph Lauren Black Leather Riding Boots/Booties,Pour La Victoire Black Lorelle 1 Leather Designer Knee High Boots/BootiesNaturalizer Brown Wynnie Wide Calf Riding 350 Bridal / 37 Boots/BootiesTwelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Brown Suede "Devi" Boots/BootiesMarsèll Black 80mm Leather Wedges Half Ankle 35.5 Boots/BootiesRalph Lauren Black Tall Riding Equestrian Calf Buckles Classic Comfortable Boots/Booties,Givenchy Black Leather Over The Knee Nunka Boots/BootiesJimmy Choo Black Suede Leather Fringed High Heel Boots/BootiesAlexander Wang Black Kori Leather Tilt-heel Boots/Booties,Ash Brown Hurrican Snakeskin Pointed Boots/BootiesJil Sander Black Tall Wedge New Boots/BootiesJimmy Choo Black Limited Edition Pleated Fabric 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.”
In Excellent Condition - look to have been once or twice
Made in Italy
Great looking black leather knee-high riding style boots from L.K. Bennett - nice supple leather with inner zipper access with hidden elastic insert at the top - great sturdy stacked heels and fully lined in leather - very handsome boots.
Size 36 / US 6
Widest width- 3-1/2" measured on the bottom
Toe to heel- 10-1/4" measured from the side
Height- 15" from top of boot to top of heel
Heel Height- 1-3/4"
Circumference around top of boot - 14-1/4" all around
All measurements are approximate
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.Stuart Weitzman Brown New Yadastud Chain 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.
Alice + Olivia Black Hampton Over The Knee Boots/BootiesGivenchy Black Shark Wedge Peep Boots/Booties,Vince Camuto Brown Kantha Over The Knee 148 Foxy / 36.5 Eu Boots/BootiesCharles David Nude Brown Studio Leopard Calf Hair Ankle Leather Boots/Booties,Dingo Tan & Brown Vintage Leather Western Boots/BootiesFrye Brown Jillian Knee High Leather Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Derby Leather Tall Knee High Riding Boots/Booties,Pour La Victoire Black Estel Boots/Booties,Fiorentini + Baker Black 713 Eternity Boots/Booties,Dolce&Gabbana Black And Patent Leather Boots/Booties,Burberry Prorsum Black Fleming Suede Ankle Eu 36.5 Boots/BootiesMatisse Brown/Orange Leather Ankle 7.5m New Boots/Booties,Aerosoles Brown Trustworthy Low Rise Ankle Mushroom Boots/BootiesFrye Brown Melissa Tab Dark Knee High Leather New Boots/Booties,Dr. Martens Brown Doc Saxon Leather Work Boots/Booties,Free People Smoke and Black Flying Ranch Boots/Booties,Alexander McQueen Black Leather Snap Mid-calf Boots/Booties,Saint Laurent Black Mens Duckies Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Moulage 140 Boots/Booties,Valentino Black Rockstuds Ankle Suede 36 Boots/Booties,Newport News Brown Brn Suede Leather Knee High 5.5w New Boots/Booties,Frye Brown 77455 Harness Dark Gray Black Motorcycle Women's Boots/Booties,Frye Brown 77250 Belted Harness Leather Motorcycle Women's Boots/Booties,Frye Black Distressed Malorie Knotted Heel Tall Boots/Booties,Fiorentini + Baker Black Cavallino Leather Boots/Booties,Hermès Black Suede Rose Gold Metal Cap 38) 211613 Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Mad Combat Boots/Booties,Prada Black Calzature Donna Nappa Nero Boots/BootiesSalvatore Ferragamo Black Leather B Boots/Booties,Zara Brown Buckle Knee High Boots/Booties,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Everybody by BZ Moda Nutmeg & Brown Never Worn "Pastore" Italian-made Leather High-end Hipster Heel-zip 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.
Proenza Schouler Black Navy Suede Riva Chukka Wedge (W29) 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.”Christian Louboutin Black All Seasons Leather Flat 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.Black Thigh High Over Knee Platform Sexy Leather Italy Boots/Booties,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Frye Brown 76656 Parker Moc Suede Motorcycle Women's 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.Dolce Vita Dark Distressed Brown 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.Jack Rogers Brown Sawyer Suede Leather Boots/Booties,
It’s part of the gig.
Guess By Marciano Manchado Brown 27 32344 Fawn 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.
Via Spiga Black Parca Leather Knee High Tall 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.”Loeffler Randall Black Ribbed Leather Ankle Boots/Booties,