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.
Diane von Furstenberg Gold Shimmer Metallic Valene 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.Bottega Veneta Multicolor Tricolor Peep Toe Cut Out Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Christian Louboutin Red Croco Mercury Slingback High Heel Pump 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 Black Mini Miller Jelly Thong Poppy 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.”Tory Burch Orange T Marion Quilted T-strap Poppy Red Sandals,
Tory Burch Pink T Saucy Jelly Logo Bow Tie Thong Sandals,Beige Satin Crystal Embellished Slingback Sandals,Tory Burch Black 'miller' Patent Leather Logo Thong Flip Flop Sandals,Céline Black Leather Ankle Strap Sandals,Salvatore Ferragamo Silver Gil Laser Cut Sandals,Tory Burch Royal Tan/260 Miller-tumbled Leather Style# 51118208 Color:royal Tan/260 Sandals,Jil Sander Gold Leather Sneakers SneakersTory Burch Black Flip Flop SandalsSaint Laurent Pale Rose Tribute New Ysl Patent Leather Platform 135mm Pink 38.5 SandalsTory Burch Beige Gold Tan Leather Logo Embellished Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Tan Raffia Platform Sandals,Vera Wang Moss Lavender Diane SandalsPour La Victoire Black Cynthia Sandals,Bed|Stü Brown Handmade Leather Strappy Platform Wedge Sandals,Claudia Ciuti Lime Green Nova Sandals,Tory Burch Nautical Stripes Small Navy Sea/White 10m Miller Printed Patent Leather Sandals,John Richmond Black Label Textile/Leather Sandals,Burberry Brown Beige Black New SandalsSperry Blue Top-sider 'south Beach' Sandals,LORIBLU Black/Gold Luminous Strappy Patent Leather Chain Sandals,Valentino Black Patent Leather Rockstud 39 Sandals,Jimmy Choo Black Glenys Cage Platform Sandals,Pewter Flat and Gold Strappy Sandals,Prada Blue Baltico Leather Turnlock Slingback W/ Chunky Heel - 37.5 Sandals,Saint Laurent Black Freja Crystal Embellished Sandals,Pierre Hardy Turquoise Black Made In Italy with Tassels SandalsNike White & Blue Air Viso Pro 4 Sneakers,Burberry Silver Platform with Ankle Wrap Strap Sandals,Valentino Hand Painted Tribal Design Studded Leather Flat Sandals,Elizabeth and James Natural Hazel T Strap Wedge 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.”
Black and red leather 'Keira' sandals from Dolce & Gabbana featuring an open toe, a brand embossed insole, an ankle strap with a side buckle fastening, a gold-tone stud detailing, an embroidered floral design and a high block heel.
Outer Composition: Leather 100%
Sole Composition: Leather 100%
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.Tory Burch Black Mignon Rings Strappy Flat 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.
Saint Laurent Blush Tribute Patent T-strap Platform SandalsGee WaWa Red Black Miley Hip Laser Cut Padded Flat New SandalsSplendid Gold Cameron Gladiator Sandalschampagne Sandals,Tory Burch Black/ Gold 7.5m Laura Flat Tumbled Leather SandalsValentino Black Leather Rockstud Rolling Strappy Gladiator Flat Sandals,Donald J. Pliner Brown Cessa Sneakers,Stuart Weitzman Electric Blue Nudistsong Ankle Strap Suede SandalsCharles David Black Amsterdam Women Open Toe Synthetic Wedge SandalsStuart Weitzman Snake Studded Platform Bootie Sandals,Emanuel Ungaro Pink Strappy Heel 36 Sandals,Elie Tahari Orange/Coral Nala Leather Foot Bed Retail Sandals,Banana Republic Black Peep Toe Espadrille Sandals,Tory Burch Black Amanda Flat Thong Leather Gold Logo Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Gold E50308 Swarovski Crystal Accented Leather Sandals,Salvatore Ferragamo Grey Soho 35sfa617 SneakersAlexander McQueen Black Designer Sexy Edgy SandalsCalvin Klein Dark Brown Criss 6m Sandals,Valentino Black Rockstud 105mm Caged Leather Sandals,Roberto Botticelli Purple Python & Suede Sandals,Charles by Charles David Cabernet Knot Slides SandalsTory Burch Gold Laura Flat Thong Sandals,Tory Burch Black T Big Gold Logo Strap Sandals,Fendi Black Strappy Metallic Fringe / Beaded Peacock Accent Flat Sandals,adidas Red and Black Speedex 16.1 Boxing Sneakers,Valentino Watercolor Pastels 36.5 Rockstud Sandals,Sam Edelman Gold and Black SandalsDansko Brown Neeci Earth Linen Brazil Sandals,Beverly Feldman Nude Soiree # 31221 Sandals,Tory Burch Leopard Black New Animal Print Flip Flats Sandals,Tory Burch Magenta Terra Thong Flip Flops Leather Sandals
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
New Balance Black Pf Flyers Windjammer 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.
Jimmy Choo Black Caged Leather Dame 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.”Christian Louboutin Sand Activa In Dove Color Platform 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.Tory Burch White Thora Flip Flop Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Mystique Boutique Pink and Gold 1580 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 Melon Red Orange Coral Mini Miller Flat Thong 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.Christian Louboutin Black New Sparty Flat Nappa Gladiator Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
Converse Black All Leather All Star High Tops 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.
Valentino Red Lovestud Suede Cross Strap Rockstud 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.”Taryn Rose Brown Suede Fringe Heels Sandals,