Sperry Boots/Booties Tan Green Saltwater Duck Boots/Booties Sperry 974fbe

Sperry Boots/Booties Tan Green Saltwater Duck Boots/Booties Sperry 974fbe

Thanks for reading.

Subscribe to discover fast, unlimited access.

Sperry Boots/Booties Tan Green Saltwater Duck Boots/Booties Sperry 974fbe.

Sorry, your subscription does not include this content.

Please call 866-735-5631 to upgrade your subscription.

You are the owner of this article.
Share this  ›

Sperry Boots/Booties Tan Green Saltwater Duck Boots/Booties Sperry 974fbe

Degenhardt

Coulee Region Chill’s Jackson Decker skates during practice on Thursday at Green Island Ice Arena. Decker does double duty, playing for the Chill while also attending Holmen High School.

  • Rory O’Driscoll, La Crosse Tribune

Holmen High School student Jackson Decker (center, gray hat) watches a basketball game with friends.

  • Rory O’Driscoll, La Crosse Tribune

Coulee Region Chill’s Jackson Decker skates during a recent practice at Green Island Ice Arena.

  • Rory O’Driscoll, La Crosse Tribune

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.

Y-3 Silver/Black/Purple/Orange Yohji Yamamoto Sneaker Inspired Wedge Platforms Boots/Booties,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.Mossimo Supply Co. Olive / Loden Boots/Booties,

But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.

Chloé Black Paddington Julie Mid Calf Boots/Booties,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.

Grey Vitaa Rear Zip Ankle Steel Boots/Booties,“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.”Bottega Veneta Black Patent Leather Woven Detail It / 8 322715 Pumps,

High-school experience

Christian Louboutin Black Follies Spike Mix Degrade Stiletto Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black Malefissima 100 Criss Cross Strap Heel PumpsChristian Louboutin White Confusa 100 Leopard Print PumpsNike * Beige/Cream/Black Air Jordan 23 Beige/Cream/Black Boots/Booties,Matt Bernson Black Tan Suede Fringe Ankle Boots/BootiesGiuseppe Zanotti Red Suede Fringe Platform Ankle Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Taupe Leather Ankle 90 High Heel Lady Fashion Toe Italy Pump Red Sole Boots/Booties,Frye Burgundy Womens Melissa Button Leather Boots/Booties,Hunter Navy Matte Tall' Rain Boots/BootiesSperry Black and Green Flex Deck Chelsea Waterproof Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Black Low Ankle Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Black Tall Style No. 22148431. Marleen Riding Finn Boots/BootiesDr. Martens Taupe Castel Needlepoint Boots/BootiesSperry Brown and Blue Duck Boots/BootiesSteve Madden Black Leather Sz.6 Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Very Prive 120 Pumps,ALA?A Yellow Bombe 90mm Ambre Satin Studded Stud Ankle Strap Sandal Heel Pumps,ShoeDazzle Black and White Open Boots/Booties,Lucky Brand Olive Women's Terra Dark M Boots/Booties,Cole Haan Tan Suede Dress Boots/Booties,Ralph Lauren Collection Leopard with Black. Made In Italy Pumps,Christian Louboutin Beige Floral Classic Moulamax 85mm Bouquet Velvet Ankle Boots/Booties Boots/Booties,Stuart Weitzman Gray Basilico Skimmer Tough Vecchio Nappa Boots/Booties,Zara Beige Tan New Box Summer Festival Fringe Suede Moccasins Flats Boho Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Satin White Corneille 100mm Off PumpsZara Green Embroidered Satin High Heel Ankle Boots/Booties,Jimmy Choo Beige Unisex Suede New Boots/Booties,Jeffrey Campbell Taupe Maverick Moto Suede Ankle Boots/Booties,Brunello Cucinelli Grey New Calf Leather Tall Riding Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Shelleymat 85 Kid Leather 40.5 Pumps,

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.”

Description

New in box!

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.

Christian Louboutin Black Decollete 100 Jazz Pumps,

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.Giuseppe Zanotti White Black and Gold Boots/Booties,

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.

Rag & Bone Gray Walker Boots/Booties,Propet Grey Women's Lexington In Gunsmoke Suede Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin White Pigalle Follies 100 Red Loubitag Graffiti Patent Leather Heel PumpsChristian Louboutin White with Cherry Symbol Pigalle Follies Pumps,Rag & Bone Camel/Tan Rag&bone Boots/BootiesGivenchy Camel Beige Suede Ankle Wood Wedge Heel Boots/BootiesDr. Martens Red/Black Nellie Pull On Wellies Red/Black Rare Boots/Booties,Jil Sander Dark Green Patent Leather Boots/Booties,Sesto Meucci Black Woven Cowboy Boots/BootiesFree People Grey Venture Woven Leather Boots/Booties,Anthropologie Grey Miss Albright Loose Rein Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Pigalle 100mm PumpsChristian Louboutin White Pigalle Follies 100 Maxi Fiori Multicolor Floral Satin Pumps,Valerie Stevens Beige Tall Knee High Leather Zippered Like New Boots/Booties,Birkenstock Taupe Sarnia Suede Ankle Boots/Booties,Donald J. Pliner Lavender Stretch/Leather Split Toe Zip Ankle M Boots/Booties,Aquazzura Sage Grey So Me Boots/Booties,Cole Haan Black Suede Stretch Pull On Boots/Booties,Sperry Mint Green / Grey Women's Saltwater Duck Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Ostri Sling 100 Kid/Pat Soft/Pat Pumps Size US,Prada Black Leather Padded Insole Platform Sexy Excellent Condition Pumps,Jog Dog Waterproof Quilted Snow Kitzbuhel Boots/Booties,Marc by Marc Jacobs Tan 636120 Boots/Booties,Fendi Wine Rockoko Velvet Knit Cuissard Boots/Booties,Barbara Bui Blue High Top Sneaker Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Brown and Yellow Boots/BootiesCirca Joan & David Black Calf Leather With Sharp Buckle Detail Boots/Booties,Frye Grey/Stone with Black Dirstressed Veronica Slouch Boots/Booties,Jessica Simpson Purple Pink Black Pumps,Tom Ford Black Python 716344-102 Pumps,

For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.

Free People Tan/Brown Monterey Western Ankle Boots/Booties,“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.”

Carlos by Carlos Santana Maroon . Boots/Booties,
Ecco Marine Blue Shape 75 Boots/Booties,

Education is paramount to the junior-hockey experience. If a player falls behind on his studies, it reflects on his playing time.

Cole Haan Black Leather Riding Boots/Booties,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.”Harley Davidson Black Leather S735600u Boots/Booties,

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.Christian Louboutin Black & Grey Leather Flannel Cuff Armony 140 Ankle with Box Boots/Booties,

It’s optional, but encouraged.

Christian Louboutin Black Patent Leather Peep Cutout Heel Pumps,“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.Valentino Black Suede Rockstud Ankle Strap Pumps,

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.Iron Fist White/Multi Lolita Love Boots/Booties,

It’s part of the gig.

Tod's Black Olive Tan Leather Round-toe Boots/Booties,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.

Frye Burnt Red Phillip Chelsea Boots/Booties,“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.”Stuart Weitzman Navy Buckler Suede Buckle Boots/Booties,

Preview International Black With Heel. Boots/Booties,

Post a comment as

Report

Watch this discussion. Stop watching this discussion.

(1) comment

Kurtis Body

Do they use sites like https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOuJBN9OulDbk1Dp9cf-1XQ for their studies? Because I have some doubts

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.