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.
Tory Burch Black Stretch Canvas Espadrille Logo Heel 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.Christian Louboutin Canelle/Bronze New Galeria 100 Embellished 8 Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Roberto Cavalli Black Womens Patent Leather Ankle Strap 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.
Rag & Bone Black Pool 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 Red Gold Raspberry Patent Leather Slingback Sandals,
Prada Beige Nude Leather Sneakers SneakersGiuseppe Zanotti Black Suede T Strap Platform Heel Less Wedge Sandals,Tory Burch Black Mini Miller Thong SandalsPrada Black Strappy Heels / SandalsBurberry Multi Color Brown Rubber Unisex Check Slide 37/38 SandalsSergio Rossi Nude/ Champagne Matisse Royal Strass Crystal Sandals,adidas Blue Saigon Sneakers Materials Of The World SneakersStuart Weitzman Black Suede Lovefringe Ankle Strap Sandals,Christian Louboutin Multicolor Toboggan 100 Glittered Leather 38 Sandals,Jimmy Choo Black Leigh Leather Sandals,Valentino Black Garavani Rockstud Pumps 8.5 Sandals,Lanvin Blue New Pumps Heels Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone 39 Sandals,Givenchy Multicolor Women's Striped Mink Fur Slide Red/White - 6b Sandals,Josef Seibel Metallic Pewter Tonga 04 / Antik Basalt Sandals,Antonio Melani St. Tropez Selma Sandals,Camper Red and Tan Twins Sandals,K. Jacques Combi Black (Black Patent) Buffon Sandals,Cole Haan Black Trudy Flat Slide Sandals,Badgley Mischka Black Jeweled Thong SandalsTory Burch Spark Gold Laura Flat Thong Metallic Tumbled Leather Sandals,Saint Laurent Cream Tribute Paris Patent Leather Platform Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Black/Pink Patent Color Leather Stiletto Pumps Sandals,Saint Laurent Nude Tribute 105 Patent Platform Sandals,Jimmy Choo Multicolour Kaya Multistrap SandalsGivenchy Black Michela Leather Open Toe Pumps / Sandals,Christian Louboutin Black Suede and Braided Leather Carlota Cut Out Pe Sandals,Tory Burch Brilliant Blue Blossom Jelly Women's SandalsValentino Black Leather T-strap Florette Sandals,Tory Burch Red Patent Leather Miller Sandals,Tory Burch **just Reduced 7/26** Black and Tan Chandler 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.”
BURBERRY - French Beige, Leather, Sandals/Heels accented by Ruched Leather, Foot/Ankle Straps. Finest Italian Leather; Adjustable Ankle Strap with Gunmetal Buckle; Wood Stacked Heel; Leather Lining, Foot-bed and Bottom Sole with Logo. Handcrafted 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.Valentino Red Rockstud Rubber Jelly Bow Stud Pvc Thong Flip Flop 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.
Christian Louboutin Golden Light Brown Merci Noeud Sandals,Free People Great Lengths Gladiator 37 In Grey Suede - Sandals,Tory Burch Black T Cherilyn Leather Pom Pom Fringe Strap Flat Sandals,Tory Burch Black/ Gold Laura Flat Tumbled Leather Sandals,Fratelli Rossetti Black Scroll Design Leather Gladiator Sandals,Puma Green Classic Suede (Women’s) Sneakers,Aquazzura Blue New Suede Strappy Cut Out Cage Heels 37 Sandals,Tory Burch Multi Color Charlene Floral Printed Sandals,Hervé Leger Tan Halona Gladiator Strappy Sandals,Christian Louboutin Black Pyrabubble 140 Suede Sandals,Tory Burch Red Dillan Flip Flop - Sandals,Giorgio Armani Natural Embellished Leather Low-top Gladiator Sandals,Tory Burch Black Flip Flops Gold Logo SandalsRick Owens Black New T Strap Leather Sandals,Athletic Propulsion Labs Multi (Sparkly) Apl: Techloom Phantom Knit Sneakers Sneakers,Christian Louboutin Black Denis Calf 100 Vip Sandals,Narciso Rodriguez Burgundy Leather 38.5 Sandals,Salvatore Ferragamo Brown & Tan Python Sandals,Givenchy Dark Blue Tooth Denim SandalsDr. Scholl's Brown Women's Slip-on Sandals,FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Olive Bow Slide Sandals Size US,Tory Burch Tan Kira Flat Thong Gold Logo Bow Leather SandalsAlexander McQueen Gold Leather Flat Sandals,adidas By Stella McCartney Orange Adissage Slides Sneakers,Valentino Tan Garavanti Rockstud Ankle Strap 38.5 (Us SandalsJuicy Couture Gold Never Worn. Glitter Stardust SandalsGiuseppe Zanotti Rose Gold Margaret Sandals,DSquared Black Suede Strappy Metal Studs Decorated Platform Sandals,Anthropologie Multi-color Chio Brocade Slide 37 Satin Sandals,Birkenstock Grey Green Olive Molina Adjustable Buckle Sandals,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Prada Black/Burgundy Crocodile Print Leather Bow Pumps 8.5 Sandals,“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.
Zara Black Ivory Snake Print Genuine Leather High Heel 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.”Saint Laurent White Tribute Yves 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 Navy Blue Logo Love Peace Summer Beach Flip Flats New Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Tory Burch Black Ivory Jamie Flat Leather 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 Royal Tan Powder Coated Laura Full Coverage 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.Brunello Cucinelli Grey Leather Embellished Cuff Toe Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
Dolce&Gabbana Green Banana Mcrystal Mink Fur T-strap Sandals,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.
Stuart Weitzman Red Suede Newdeal 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.”Christian Louboutin Brown Fiorellino 100 Slingback 37 Sandals,