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.
Alice + Olivia Leopard-print Canvas Lena Platform 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.Joie Light Gold Free Fallin Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Kendall + Kylie White Faris 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 Mini Miller 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 Tan Eloise Flat Thong- Mestico/ Solf Patent Sandals,
Valentino Neon Pink Rubber Jelly Bow Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Nude Beige Nudist Sandals,Dolce&Gabbana Multicolor Printed Brocade Peep Toe Ankle Wrap Wedge SandalsSaint Laurent Black Leather Ankle Wrap SandalsBirkenstock Brown Leather Tatami Yara Sandals,BCBGeneration Gold Jax Heeled 748 Multi Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Black "E30313" Swarovski Crystal Accented Patent Leather Sandals,Saint Laurent Black Studded Fringe SandalsTory Burch Black Pweter Miller 2 Polka Dot Snake Prt Metal Logo Sandals,Gianvito Rossi Black Crisscross Ankle-strap Sandals,Givenchy Black Paris Checkered Slide Sandals,Longchamp Pink Lizard T-strap Studded Sandals,Tory Burch Black/ Natural Amara Flat Thong Sandals,Ash Black Ankle Strap Zip Wedge Sandals,Nine West Black Amability Leather & Suede Sandals,Fendi Brown Canvas Zucca Logo Slide Wedge Sandals,Pour La Victoire Blue Macbeth Sandals,Rag & Bone Ivory Hester Platform Sandals,Prada Olive Python & Raffia Wedge Sandals,Banana Republic Rose Gold Crisscross Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Black Patent Leather 40) 481843 SandalsTory Burch Natural Nude Perforated Leather Sandals,Jack Rogers Pink Jelly Thong SandalsTory Burch Poppy Coral Moore Flat Leather Elba Flip Flop Sandals,Tory Burch Trench Tan-254 Mini Miller Flat Thong Color:trench Style#21158606 SandalsPour La Victoire Beige / Snake/ Natural Olivia Women Open-toe Leather Tan Slingback SandalsDolce&Gabbana Purple Dolce & Gabbana Women's Leather Fashion Sneakers Sneakers,Saint Laurent Burgundy Tribute Bordeaux Patent Leather SandalsB.O.C. Cina Gold Sunbronze Metallic F/G Zip Up Sandals,B Brian Atwood Yellow Summer Slip Print Slides 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.”
Authentic TORY BURCH Amira Snake Embossed Leather Peep toe sandals
Womens Size 8
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.Brunello Cucinelli Metallic Grey Embellished Cross Strap Block 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.
Tory Burch Classic Striped-edge Flip Flops In Colorscope Sandals,See by Chloé Brown New Leather Sandals,Tory Burch Navy Marguerite Floral Embellished Leather Sandals,Valentino Pink Bow Jelly Rubber Sandals,Alexander Wang Beige Suede Cole Slingback Sandals,Jimmy Choo Silver Crystal Rhinestone Slingback Metallic 38 Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Blue Suede Morepearls Ww39678 Sandals,Dior Black Suede Stitched Antica Platform Sandals,Pour La Victoire Cream Shanna Sandals,Prada Brown | Gold New Never Worn SandalsTory Burch Black Melody Thong Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Black Patent Leather Falco SandalsValentino Black Rockstud Bow Rubber Flip Flop SandalsChristian Louboutin Black Galeria 100 Studded Leather Ankle Strap Strappy Sandals,Jimmy Choo Gray Macy Suede Leather Sandals,Marni Gold and Black New It 36 Leather Suede Intricate Sandals,Valentino Black Woven Leather with Turquoise Stones Sandals,Gianvito Rossi White New Leather Strappy Italian Heels Sandals,Dior Navy with Printed and Metal "D" Logos Flat SandalsTory Burch White Miller Flip Flops Leather Sandals,Tory Burch Gold/Tan Louisa Flat Thong Leather Sandals,Valentino Bright Neon Pink Couture Bow Thong Sandals,Christian Louboutin Black Gold Sabina Embroidered Embellished Velvet Ankle Cuff Heel SandalsChristian Louboutin Black Tan New Trepi City 85 Suede Sandals,Free People Suede Black Women's Ankle Strap 1/4" Heel Sandals,Givenchy Black/White New Color Slip On Wedge Leather SandalsManolo Blahnik Fuschia Tiras Patent Fluo Fuxia Sandals,Tory Burch Poppy Coral Two-band Jelly Slides Sandals,Tory Burch Blue 7.5m ' Dillan ' Soft Patent Leather Sandals,Tory Burch Estella Embellished Flat Sandals,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Pedro Garcia Brown Suede Wedge 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.
Sam Edelman Yellow and Natural Yellow/Natural Odetta Flower Print 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.”Tory Burch Brown Anya Huarache 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.MCQ by Alexander McQueen Black "Erin" Ankle Cuff Leather Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Tory Burch Trench Tan Mini Miller Flat Thong Micro Tejus Print 10m 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 Nautical Stripes Small Nantucket Red/ White Miller Printed Patent 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 Garavani Rockstud Pumps 8.5 Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
Tory Burch Brown New Perforated Gladiator Wedge Leather 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.
Dior Multicolored Floral Heels Silver Dice Logo 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 Silver Dufoura 140 Python/Pvc Sandals,