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.
Jack Rogers Pink & White Hampton 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.Birkenstock Pink Papillo Floral Arizona Sandals,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Prada Pink Vernice Patent Leather 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 Ivory New White Phoebe Tumbled Leather Flats Box 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.”Vince Off White Women's Natural Verrell Fabric Open-back Skate Sneaker Sneakers,
Stuart Weitzman Black "Shotput" Velour Women's Fashion Sneakers Sneakers,Jean-Michel Cazabat Brown/Gold Metallic Canvas Espadrille Wedge SandalsValentino Ivory Peep Toe Slingback Sandals,Tory Burch Blue Annabelle Bow Slide Sandals,Jimmy Choo Lilac Snake Embossed Strappy SandalsCole Haan Blue White Zerogrand Wingtip Oxford In Twilight Brushoff Sneakers,Giuseppe Zanotti Silver Nuvorick Crest Thong Sandals,Manolo Blahnik Green Metallic Silk Rovani Cross Strap Open Sandals,Jimmy Choo Black Opaque Flower Cage Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Silver Cruel Summer Sandals,Saint Laurent Black Patent Nu Pieds 05 Ysl Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Black Leather On The Run Caged Gladiator Flat Strappy Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Coral Harmony Patent Leather Sandals,Dolce&Gabbana Grey Dolce and Gabbana Sandals,Giuseppe Zanotti Tan Alien Strappy Sandals,Bloch Black "Loretta" Woven Strappy Shimmer Leather Thongs Sandals,Ruthie Davis Watermelon Flourescent Lucy SandalsDonald J. Pliner Black and White Sandals,Tory Burch Navy Amanda Leather Flat Sandals,Tory Burch Sand Marion Quilted SandalsTory Burch Black 10m Eloise Flat Thong- Mestico/ Solf Patent SandalsJimmy Choo Hot Pink New Fiona Sandals,Cole Haan Pink Fuchsia Leather Sling Back Open Toe Soft Gladiator* Sandals,Salvatore Ferragamo Black/Nero Bali Jelly Flip-flop SandalsBeige Black Riley Raffia Platform Sandals,Tory Burch Tan New Box Leather Summer Ankle Strap Flats Sandals,Eric Michael Beige Cheetah Peep Toe Espadrilles Wedges SandalsTory Burch Black New Quilted Leather Thongs Flip Flops SandalsMarni Gold Brown/Yellow Samss10g02 Open-toe Patent Leather Espadrille Box Sandals,Christian Louboutin Black Classic Kaleidra 25mm Embellished Stud Beaded Heel 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.”
This is authentic Just Cavalli Black Open Toe High Heels Strappy Sandals Shoes
Az Mix 593
Heels In Inches ::4.75"
Made 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.Kurt Geiger London White Black Gray New Earl Snakeskin Embossed Leather 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 Navy Blue White Nautical New Box Miller Striped Patent Leather Flats Flip Flop SandalsGivenchy Black and Pink Slides Sandals,adidas Multi Color Boost # 113752245 SneakersSaint Laurent Black Tribute Ysl Sandals,Loeffler Randall Black Rue Leather Strappy SandalsCharles David Multicolor All Leather Sandals,Jimmy Choo Taupe Slingback Heels Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Brown Leather Beaded Jeweled Sandals,Tory Burch Royal Tan Dillan Patent Sandals,Tory Burch Hibiscus Blossom Flat Jelly Thong Sandals,Tory Burch Royal Tan/Gold 6.5m Thora Thong Leather Sandals,Valentino Olive Green Gavarani Rockstud Khaki-green Leather In Sandals,Jimmy Choo Silver Strappy Slingback Heels 37.5 *min. Wear* Sandals,Stella McCartney Black Open-toe Pumps Sandals,Isaac Mizrahi White Leather Pointed Toe Slingback Heels Sandals,Dior Brown Gladiator Sex and The City Platforms Carrie's Favorite Sandals,Tory Burch New Vilette Flip Flop Sandals,Free People Honey Whiskey Sun Seeker Sandals,Tory Burch Light Makeup 216 Miller Sandals,Valentino Yellow Rockstud Strappy Leather Flats SandalsChristian Louboutin Black Bikee Bike Silver Spiked Flats Sandals,Jimmy Choo Black Camo Silver Leather Lottie High Heel Strappy Sandals,Stuart Weitzman Black Leather Nudist Stiletto 4" Heels SandalsJimmy Choo Multicolor Polka Dot Satin and Leather Thong Slides Euc Sandals,Jimmy Choo Silver Kissy Metallic Textured-leather SandalsFrye Black Carla Criss Cross Slide Sandals,Tory Burch Blue Red Pink White Sandals,Prada Gold/ Grey Flip Flops Sandals,Burberry Indigo Kington Flat Flats Denim Blue 37/ SandalsValentino Yellow Rockstud Neon Leather Stud Gladiator Slide Flat Sandals,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Diane von Furstenberg Black Vanessa V1022422 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.
Tory Burch Thora Poppy Red 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 Natural/Gold-141 Cameron Roccia Python Print Flip Flop 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.Prada Buckle Embroidered Velvet Slides Sandals,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Karl Lagerfeld Arden Velvet Embellished Slip On Sneakers,“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.Alexandre Birman Black Suede Piper Cut Out 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.Nasty Gal Black Wrap In The Face Sandals,
It’s part of the gig.
Lucky Brand Beige/Camel - Tessa - Platform with Gold Studs 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.
SE Boutique by Sam Edelman Designs Gold 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.”Katy Perry Pop Blue Polly Parrot Esparille Sandals,