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.
Rene Caovilla Red Décolleté Velvet Pumps,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.Christian Louboutin Orange Pigalle Follies Suede Magma Stiletto Pumps,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Christian Louboutin Black Slingback Peep-toe Pumps,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.
Christian Louboutin Black Flo 120mm Pumps,“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.”Christian Louboutin Beige Lady Peep Pumps,
Tod's Grey New Suede Braided Eur41/ Pumps,Ivanka Trump Black Dritz Strappy 816 Patent Pumps,Christian Louboutin Pink Pigalle Follies 100 Darling Patent Heel Pumps,Giuseppe Zanotti Silver Snakeskin Embossed Leather PumpsSalvatore Ferragamo Blue & White And Leather Aa Pumps,Nine West Black Brown Gray Bright Skyr Pumps,Fendi Brown Yellow Gold Sta Lizard Print Leather Platform Peep Toe PumpsStuart Weitzman Nude Nudist Patent Leather Sandal Pumps,Christian Louboutin Nude 11918 Patent Leather Gladiator Wedge Sandal40 PumpsChristian Louboutin Iriza Black Patent Leather 41 - 11.5 Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black/Silver Tchicaboum 100mm Pumps,Via Spiga Nude Squared Round Toe Beige Patent PumpsTory Burch Camel Romy Mid Heel Pumps,Stuart Weitzman Black Leather M PumpsSaint Laurent Red Suede Cap Toe Platform Pumps,Tory Burch Coconut Isabella Crocodile Embossed Leather PumpsMarc by Marc Jacobs Red High Heels Pumps,Bottega Veneta Green With Bow Pointed Toe Leather Pumps,Christian Louboutin Blue Iriza 100mm Metallic Glitter Dorsay Point Toe Heel Sz. 37.5 Euro Pumps,Cole Haan Tng Red Snk Print Margot Ii Pumps,Manolo Blahnik Blue New Bb Tie-dye Fabric 39 Pumps,Christian Louboutin Brown Choca Cuoio Gator Print Sandal Stiletto PumpsChristian Louboutin Black 37it Leather Hidden Platform Daf Lady Toe Red Sole 160 High Heel PumpsAttilio Giusti Leombruni Navy Blue Patent Leather Round-toe Classic Pumps,Manolo Blahnik Blue Hangisi Crystal-toe Floral Print Satin Sz. 39 Euro PumpsMarc Jacobs Purple / Red Two Tone Suede Classic Italy PumpsSJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Royal Blue Brooks Suede D’orsay- Pumps,Paco Gil Maroon Pointed Toe PumpsChristian Louboutin Red Bianca Booty 120 Platform Ankle Boots Pumps,J.Crew Taupe / Beige Olive Peep-toe G1117 Pumps,
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.”
Sebastian Pumps, black mesh with beautiful embroidered beige/white flowers. Real snake skin detail throughout shoe, please look closely at photos. made in Italy.
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.Salvatore Ferragamo Black & Red All Leather Capped Toe Slingback Italian Pumps,
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.
Prada Tan Patent Leather Peep-toe Heels Pumps,Prada Dark Brown Suede Cut Out Elastic Platform Sandals 8.5 Pumps,Christian Louboutin Python So Kate Pumps,Christian Louboutin * Black Slingback Patent Pumps,Salvatore Ferragamo Cognac Vintage with Ivory Basket Toebox PumpsChristian Louboutin Black Yasling 70 Crepe Satin Bow Embellsihed Slingback Kitten Heel Pumps,Miu Miu Red Multi Python Heeled Tie Oxford PumpsCharles Jourdan Grey Patent Edmond Pumps,Christian Louboutin Rose Paris (Neon Pink) Fifi Spikes 100 PumpsChristian Louboutin Blue Vendome Sling Nodo 120 Pumps,Dolce Vita Navy Suede Paige PumpsPrada Burgundy Cherry Black Patent Leather Chunky Heels 37.5 Amarena Pumps,Alexander McQueen Beige Hexagon Stud Embellished Leather Platform PumpsCarlos by Carlos Santana Gold Pointed Toe Dress / 40 E Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black Glitter Patent Leather Yoyo 100 Peep-toe Pumps,Saint Laurent Black Tribute New Ysl Python Print Embossed Leather 2 Platform 41 PumpsAlexander McQueen Pink Fuschia Velvet Classic Stiletto Pumps,Christian Louboutin Pink Cross Blake 100 Patent Strap Heels Indian Rose Sz. 37 Euro Pumps,Christian Louboutin Silver Pigalle Follies Glitter Sirene Stiletto PumpsRag & Bone Black And Metallic Leather PumpsChristian Louboutin Brown Multicolor Bianca 140 Python Batik Snakeskin Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black with Silver and Black Studs Pigalle Spikes 120 Nappa Pumps,Stuart Weitzman Grey Velvet Sling Back Jewel Embellish Pumps,Tory Burch Black and Brown Bond 85mm Pumps,Jimmy Choo Black Patent Isabel Classic High Heel Peep Toe Pumps,Zara Pink Satin Champagne Bow Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black/Grey Satin with Details On Pointed Toe Heels PumpsJimmy Choo Navy Blue Agnes Suede Pointed-toe Pumps,Christian Louboutin Blue Pigalle Follies 100 Source Patent Heel 38.5 Pumps,Fendi Brown Tobacco Zucca Canvas Pumps,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Prada Black Classic Patent Saffiano Leather Pointed Pumps,“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.
Jimmy Choo Gold Snakeskin Half D'orsay with Enamel Heel In Box Pumps,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.”Brian Atwood Purple Suede Hidden Platform Pumps,
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.Christian Louboutin Blue New Very Prive Yellow Navy Polka Dot Stiletto Pumps,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Manolo Blahnik Black and White Polka Dot Pony Skin Pumps,“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.Stuart Weitzman Black Suede Tortoise Patent Leather Pumps,
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.Prada Olive Black Two-tone Leather Heels #1973 Pumps,
It’s part of the gig.
Salvatore Ferragamo Black Peony Bow Model Code 01n161 684800 Pumps,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.
Christian Louboutin Pink Pigalle Follies Darling Suede Stiletto Pumps,“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.”Christian Louboutin Light Green Rose Gold Glittered - Pigalle Follies Dragonfly 100mm Pumps,