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.
Chie Mihara Orange/Red Doremi Woven Front Cork Leather Wedges Red/Orange Coral Sandals,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.Brunello Cucinelli Dark Grey Monili Beaded Strappy Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Blue Denim Light Wash Stilleto Sandals,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.
Light Pink Sand Beach Slide Sandals,“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.”Prada Navy Blue Donna Gabardine Sandals,
Valentino Black Sold Out Rockstud Pvc Slide Eu 39 Sandals,Valentino Multicolor Native Couture 1975 Print Leather Crystal Embellished Rockstud SandalsRachel Zoe White New Burke Nappa Studded Sneakers,Opening Ceremony Black/White Women's Jindo Ankle Strap Leather Heeled - Black/White Sandals,Tory Burch Black Jamie Thong Sandals,Versace Black Suede & Patent Leather Heels Sandals,Tory Burch Lavender (Rosa) Miller Metallic Leather SandalsAdrienne Vittadini Gold Cut-out Back Zip Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Nude Nudist Adobe Heels Sandals,Oscar de la Renta Python Tan Woven Wedges SandalsTory Burch Pink Gold Magenta Leather Miller Logo Sandals,Joie Black Black and White High End Leather Calf Hair Sable Eu 37.5 Or SandalsTory Burch Spring Dune/ Beige Gold Logo Miller 2 Sandals,Tory Burch 10%off Royal Tan/Gold 10m Thora Thong Leather Sandals,Cole Haan Black Fenley Flat Leather Sandals,Joie Black Elaine Leather Elastic Crisscross SandalsJimmy Choo Gold New Mayner Metallic Fabric 130mm Gold/Clear SandalsRene Caovilla Gold Crystal Spiral Sandals,Tory Burch Gold Leighanne Bow Thong-metallic Saffiano Sandals,Luxury Rebel Taupe Women's Brown Canvas 'rena' High Sandals,Oscar de la Renta New Oberon Beige Velvet 39.5eu SandalsTory Burch Poppy Red Marcia Toe Ring Slide SandalsAudrey Brooke Stone and Tan Sandals,Menbur Green Satin Back Bow Sandals,Dolce&Gabbana Dolce & Gabbana Ankle Strap with Jewelry Pink SandalsValentino Black Rockstud Diamond Quilted SandalsPrada Black Simple Classic Monogram Bow Leather SandalsGiuseppe Zanotti Pink Velvet Patent Three Strap Harmony Sandals,Birkenstock Black Arizona Leather with Studs Spikes 42 Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Black & Tan Velvet Heels Sandals
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.”
100% Authentic Gorgeous 2015 VALENTINO ROCKSTUD SANDALS IN BEAUTIFUL BLUE/ORANGE/GREEN LEATHER !!!! BRAND NEW IN BOX WITH DUSTBAG!!!!
Size 37.5 IT !!!!!
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.Givenchy Pink and Black Classic Fushia Fox Fur Logo Plate Slides Sandals,
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.
Jimmy Choo Navy Sparkly Heels SandalsJoie Gunmetal Silver Leather Laser Cut Gladiator Stg-2004 Sandals,Karl Lagerfeld Chestnut Sexy Style SandalsTory Burch Camilla Pink 662 (Beige) T Cassia Patent Leather Flat Thong T-strap Sandals,Christian Louboutin Orange White Navy Brown Pacha Red Denim Velvet Tassel Flats A891 Sandals,Givenchy Black Genuine Mink Fur Slide 37eu 7b SandalsGianvito Rossi Orange Suede Caged Ankle Strap Stiletto C1916 Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Silver Mano Love SandalsTod's Brown Cameron Caramel Strappy Heels SandalsDior Off White And Brown Crocodile Embossed Strappy Sandals,Tory Burch Emerald Jeweled Flip Flops SandalsTory Burch Dark Fuchsia Michaela Bow Jelly Flip Flop Sandals,Tory Burch Dulce De Lechr Miller Sandals,Tory Burch Yellow Mini Miller Flat Thong Leather Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Nero "E50387 Cleo" Embellished Ankle Cuff Suede Gladiator Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Denim Laura Jeans Fabric SandalsDolce&Gabbana Brown Dolce & Gabbana Python Snakeskin 38 Slingback Sandals Size US,Prada Black Patent Leather Peep-toe Wedge Sandals,Christian Louboutin White/Gold White/Gold Leather No Prive 120 Slingback Heels Si SandalsSCHUTZ Pink Trust Me Love Me Sandals,Tory Burch Ivory Bright Navy Miranda Logo Flip Flop Thong Sandals,Burberry Pink New Meadow Signature Check Sandals,Tory Burch Pink Beige Nude Leather Miller Thong Slide Sandals,Isabel Marant Black Studded Janis Sandals,Alexandre Birman Beige Suade Light Brown. Gianna 100 SandalsStuart Weitzman Multicolor For Martinique Floral Sandals,SCHUTZ Black Ankle Wrap / Heels Sandals,Paul Andrew Brown New Anthena Gladiator Heel Sandals,Prada White Vernice Collection Calzature Donna SandalsTory Burch New Garden W Navy Flip Flop Sandals,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Sneaker Sneakers,“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.
Via Spiga Black Patent Leather Mavis Sandals,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.”Anne Michelle Floral Cascade Gold Sandals,
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.Yellow "Cleopatr" Cut Out Accent Two Tone Leather Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Tory Burch Royal Tan Nora Flat Thong Sandals,“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.Tory Burch Platinum / Blond Louisa Leather Thong - Style No. 22158537 Sandals,
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.Valentino Black Poolside Men's Rockstud Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
COMME des GAR?ONS Converse Play Chuck Taylor High Top White Men's 8/Women’s10 Sneakers,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.
Saint Laurent Dark Nude Tribute Beige Patent T-strap Platform Sandals,“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.”Donald J. Pliner Black Shay Sandals,