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.
French Connection Blackt Wisted Two-tone Women's Kamilla Dress 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.Jimmy Choo Black Suede Zip Cage Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Saint Laurent Gold Tribute Sahara Metallic "Tribute 105" Platform 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.
Tory Burch Tan Miller Flip Flop Patent Leather Thong Logo Slide On 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.”Keen Agate Grey Womans Uneek Sandals,
Christian Louboutin New Galeria 100 Embellished 8 SandalsChristian Louboutin Brown Two-strap Leather Platform Sandals,Pura Lopez Beige Golden New In Box Made In Spain Sneakers SneakersManolo Blahnik Purple Satin Open Toe with Ankle Wrap Sandals,Pour La Victoire Black Pandora Leather Sandals,RED Valentino Blue Canvas Strap Star Charm Slide Sandals,Tory Burch Metallic Snake Print 50008676 SandalsChristian Louboutin Sexystrapi Flat Black Leather Gold Chain Spike Gladiator 37 Sandals,Tory Burch Woven Leather Hurrache SandalsTory Burch Blac Louisa Thong SandalsRebecca Minkoff Black Bleecker Embroidery Sneaker SneakersTory Burch Black Miller In Patent Sandals,3.1 Phillip Lim Black Morgan Slip-on Sneakers Sneakers,Stuart Weitzman Black with Silver Studs Studded Stiletto Sandals,Rebecca Minkoff Black Leather Buckle Detail SandalsStuart Weitzman Platinum Silver Nudist Metallic Lame Ankle-strap 39 Sandals,Marina Rinaldi Silver Made In Italy Strappy SandalsGivenchy Black Paris Checkered Slide Sandals,Zara Black Blue and White Suede Heels Sandals,Vince Black Textured Leather Bootie Heel Sandals,Christian Louboutin Cuoio/Dark Brown/Rust Choca 100 Croc Embossed Leather Buckle Ankle Strap Pumps Sandals,Moncler Black Women's Leather Platform Zoccoli Sandals,Tory Burch Oxblood Mini Miller Flat Thong Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Brown Lizard Jewel Embellishment SandalsTory Burch Royal Tan 34333 Sandals,Dolce&Gabbana Brown Animal Print Sling Back SandalsCole Haan Gold Maria Sharapova Air Catalina Glitter-strap Sandals,Fendi Black and Multi Jelly Flat Thong SandalsRene Caovilla Tan Black Stiletto Wedge Strappy Unique Designer Espadrille Sandals,Birkenstock Pink Papillo Floral Arizona 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.”
Jimmy Choo "Furrow" Strappy Stilletto Sandals in "Pearlised Nude". Brand new in original box - never New, but tried on a handful of times. These stunning 4" stilletos feature an open toe, uniquely feminine & flattering strap design with two gold-tone stretch buckles at ankle & leather instep with fabric signature label. Gorgeous snakeskin effect leather in a neutral pearlised nude tone that wraps around heel. Leather soles show minor signs of try-on as for a short time, these were a store model at the Madison Ave NYC store where they were purchased in June 2015. Soles have signature namesake imprint with "made in Italy" and "37.5" notation. Style #151FURROW. Box includes sleeper.
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.Dior White Silver Leather Tone Logo Buckle 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.
Lucky Brand Navy Lyndell Leather Sandals,FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Pink 36577305 Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Jellies with Silver Bow SandalsTory Burch Black Mini Miller Jelly - Sandals,Dsquared2 Black Swarovski Crystal Accented Satin (9.5m) Sandals,adidas White Women’s Superstar Metal Toe Sneakers Sneakers,Tory Burch Tan Thames 85mm Sandals,Karen Millen Black/White Patent Leather Sandals,MS Shoe Designs Metallic Silver Cleopatra Sandals,Kelsi Dagger Brown Strappy Nwob Sandals,Belle by Sigerson Morrison Silver SandalsMiu Miu Blac Buffalo Stone Naturale SandalsTory Burch Black 'miller' Leather Logo Flip Flop Thong Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Pink E20410 Swarovski Crystal/Bead Accent Leather Sandals,Tory Burch Gunmetal Marion Quilted Sneakers Sneakers,Alberto Moretti Nude/Blush New Python Trim Peep Toe Suede Leather Bootie Sandals,Jimmy Choo Black Glitter Peep Toe Slingback SandalsTsubo Gray New Pewter Leather Heels Velcro SandalsSCHUTZ Pony Hair Floral Canvas Platform Pumps SandalsTory Burch New* Vilette Black Flip Flops Sandals,Loeffler Randall Tan with Multi Colored Pom Pom And Sandals,Tory Burch Party Fuchsia Miller Logo Flat Thong Sandals,Valentino Poudre Garavani Rockstud Torchon Leather Platform Sandals,Tory Burch Coral New Box Embossed Leather Miller Flats Flip Flops Sandals,Jimmy Choo Metallic Gray 96227 Kissy Steel SandalsStuart Weitzman Pyrite Nocturn Annamimic Women's Peep Toe Heels Pumps M Sandals,Céline White with Turquoise Leather Strappy Enamel Fish Sandals,Topshop Yellow Leather Platform Wedge High Heel Sandals,Pour La Victoire Blue Macbeth Sandals,Tory Burch White Thora Patent Sandals,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Tory Burch White and Gold Sneakers with Sequin 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.
Stuart Weitzman Gray Suede Leather Espadrille Platform Wedge 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.”Jean-Michel Cazabat Black and Silver Corina 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.Circus by Sam Edelman Brown Tan Studded Gladiator Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Firth Nude Leather Ankle Wrap 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 Vanilla Cream Miller 2 Veg Leather 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 Rockstud Gladiator 38.5 Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
Marc Jacobs Black Grrl Slip-on Sneaker 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.
Christian Louboutin Black Pleated Leather Slides (6/36) #12053 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.”Metallic Gold Lizard Embossed Peep Toe Slingback Sandals,