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.
Jér?me Dreyfuss Khaki Suede Fringe 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.Free People Black Freebird By Steven Lithium Boots/Booties,
But that’s what he — and all junior-hockey players his age — sign up for. They know it isn’t easy.
Nine West Gray Suede Over The Knee 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.
Jimmy Choo Purple 'cosmic' Suede - Pumps,“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.”Valentino Black and White 100mm Rockstuds Pumps,
Burberry Beige Black Red and White Haymarket Check Rubber Rain Boots/BootiesPaul Green Black Leather Pants Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Classic Tsarou 100mm Fringe Pom Pom Suede Leather Point-toe Pumps,Miu Miu Gray and Black Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Ivory/White Guni 100 Knot/Patent Pumps,Vince Camuto Olive Fenette Peeptoe Platform Heels Suede Boots/Booties,Burberry Black Watford Heels Suede Pointed 37.5/ Pumps,Dolce&Gabbana Black Tan Nude Peep PumpsCharlotte Olympia Giddy Up Bronco Black Pumps,Patrizia Pepe Eu 10 Us Womens Shoes Beige Leather -,FREEBIRD by Steven Tan Wrangler Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Scalopump Suede Classic Stiletto 85mm Pumps,Nine West Tan Western Low Boots/Booties,Baby Blue Silver White Made In Italy Fabric Enclusted Boots/Booties,Rag & Bone Black Ankleboot Boots/Booties,Bare Traps Dark Brown/Light Tan Staydry Leather Soft Faux Sheerling Wmn M Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Dark Brown Almost Black You Are Silly If You Pass These Up :) Pumps,Circus by Sam Edelman Black "Reese" Leather Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Rolando Patent Leather Hidden Platform Pumps,Corso Como Black Women's "Cagney" Leather Ankle 1/2 Boots/Booties,Prada Grey Patent Kitten Ankle Boots/Booties,Poetic License Dark Gray Top That Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Black Breche Patent Classic Stiletto PumpsChristian Louboutin Taupe Bella Top 100mm Suede Platform 38 Boots/BootiesGivenchy Black and White 5404-3396 Pumps,Christian Louboutin White Follies Spikes 100mm Pumps,Christian Louboutin White Baila 100 Neige Kid Spike Heel 38.5 Pumps,Hunter Blue Classic Tall Glossy Pale Mint Boots/Booties,Cole Haan Vapor Grey-ironstone Zerogrand Waterproof Hiker Boots/Booties,Franco Sarto Dark Burgundy Benner Over The Knee Boots/Booties,
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.”
Manolo Blahnik Purple Suede Pointed Toe Cut Out Bow Ankle Boots Size 38
100% Authentic Manolo Blahnik
Description: Suede upper. Leather sole. Pointed toe. Stitching detail. Cut out at sides with bow detail.
Overall Condition: Pre-owned. Slight scuffing at delicate suede mostly at back. Nick on left shoe at back and right shoe on toe. Wear to sole.
*If you would like more photos, feel free to message us
Dust Bag: No
Designer: Manolo Blahnik
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.Stuart Weitzman Tan The Parka 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.
Jennifer Lopez Gray Over The Knee Platform High Heels Boots/BootiesValentino Black & Blush 'rockstud' T-strap PumpsChristian Louboutin Black Booton Ml Button Leather Ankle Mary Jane Heels Pumps,Dolce&Gabbana Beige Rubber Leopard Harness Rain Boots/Booties,The North Face Brown/Tan Abby Boots/BootiesChristian Louboutin Pink Suede Tournoi Eveque Knee High BootTaryn Rose Moss Green/ Black Patent Leather Trim with Quilted Sage Suede Shafts Knee High Boo Boots/Booties,Hunter Black Women Tall Rain Boots/BootiesTarget Light Gray Classic Rubber Rain (Tall) Boots/Booties,Valentino Orange Rockstud Hawaii Flower Ankle Strap Sandal Heel PumpsSaint Laurent Black New Ysl Yves 208786 Leather Tribtoo Platform Pumps,Céline White Leather Slingback Open Toe Boots/BootiesKenneth Cole Reaction Tan Trip It Up Boots/Booties,Frye Red Hand Stitch Leather Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Dark Navy/Brown Classic Rain Boots/BootiesDiane von Furstenberg Yellow Verni Boots/Booties,Ralph Lauren Black Stara Riding Boots/BootiesCole Haan Grey Suede Halley Chukka Boots/BootiesJohn Galliano Creme Wingtip Heels Pumps,Christian Louboutin Black Pigamule 100 Pigalle Backless Sandal Slide Mule Heel PumpsQupid White Black and Silver Boots/Booties,Prada Ombre Taupe Tall Leather It Boots/Booties,Hunter Red Women's Tall Rain Boots/Booties,Tory Burch Navy Blue Wellington Boots/BootiesRalph Lauren Black Leather with Canvas Equestrian Design/Black and Rich Earth Tones Boots/Booties,BCBGeneration Black Shania Leather Riding Boots/BootiesRoberto Cavalli Grey Thigh High Boots/Booties,Christian Louboutin Black Drapinight 100 Crepe Satin PumpsChristian Louboutin Black Tac Clac 100 Glitter Patent D'orsay 36 Pumps,Reiss Beige Black Otto - Natural 03 Boots/Booties,
For him, online classes work best because he takes them wherever he goes, which could be anywhere.
Lucchese Burgundy Leather Ostrich Western Cowgirl Women 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.”
Education is paramount to the junior-hockey experience. If a player falls behind on his studies, it reflects on his playing time.
Black 500 Elastic V Cut 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.”Dior Grey Christian Fur Cannage 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 Leather Simple 85 Kid Pumps,
It’s optional, but encouraged.
Christian Louboutin White Beloved 120 Patent Curve Heel 39.5 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.Jimmy Choo Tan Suede European 36.5. Boots/Booties,
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.Frye Light Brown/Tan Jamie Chelsea Short Women's Boots/Booties,
It’s part of the gig.
Dr. Martens Ox Blood Red Shoreditch 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.
Nine West Blue 5" Heel Peep Toe Suede Navy Deep 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.”Franco Sarto Black Christine Suede Leather Wide Calf Riding Boots/Booties,