I didn’t come into hockey the conventional way. Most people remember a story about growing up watching games with their dad or strapping on their skates and playing on the backyard pond with their neighborhood friends.
That wasn’t the case for me. My dad doesn’t know the difference between charging and butt-ending. And I’m pretty sure if I asked him what icing was, his immediate response would be about cake. Don’t get me wrong; I commend him for trying to learn the sport last year when I made him sit with me through the Stanley Cup finals.
I got my start in middle school. Sitting in a freezing cold rink with a hot chocolate in hand, I found myself trying to wrap my head around this fast-paced, aggressive game. It didn’t take long before I fell in love with the sport.
A few weeks into my freshman year, a friend of mine asked me to help her manage the Boy’s Hockey Team at my high school, Homestead High School. The job began as simple tasks: recording plus/minus statistics at games, filling water bottles, attending practices and cleaning up after the boys.
For the first two and a half years, I managed both the Varsity and JV teams while balancing a heavy course load and numerous other extracurricular activities. As the years went on, I took on more responsibilities as the manager of the team from creating and maintaining our team Twitter page (@HHSHockey), to updating the manner in which we took stats, to organizing team meetings and apparel orders.
There wasn’t a time I had more fun than when I was with my team. All of the long nights and stressful days were worth it because I could see that work translate into success. The hard-fought wins, the road trips and even the losses were fun because I was immersed in what I loved doing with the people that I loved.
Although my team fell short of making it to the State Tournament this past year due to a loss at Sectional Finals against Fond du Lac, some of the most memorable games occurred during the post-season, especially our huge upset win over USM on Valentine’s Day.
Currently, I attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities studying Sport Management, Journalism (Advertising) and Design. I work for the Gophers Men’s Hockey Team as part of the Stats Crew and as needed in the equipment room.
In addition to hockey, I work game days for Football, Volleyball, Soccer and Basketball through the Gopher Sports Communications Department. I am an active member of the Minnesota Student Association on the Marketing Committee, as well as serving as the Gopher Sports Liaison for Colleges Against Cancer/Relay For Life.
I plan to pursue a career in the sports marketing field, hopefully working for an NHL team or a marketing firm that services an NHL team.
More than loving the game, I love the people involved in the game. They may have a reputation for being raunchy, crazy and a little bit inappropriate, but I know them for having the biggest hearts.
I have seen firsthand how the hockey community rallies behind those in need. The current head coach at Homestead, Tony Navarre, was diagnosed with Leukemia in March of 2011. The support that came from the hockey family throughout his battle and his ultimate triumph was truly inspirational.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to write for Wisconsin Prep Hockey, and I hope that I will be able to increase awareness of the happenings around the state and grow the hockey family.
The following is an area for discussing views on this story. Comments that are derogatory, make personal attacks, are abusive, or contain profanity or racism will be removed at our discretion. WiPH is not responsible for comments posted by users.
Please also keep “woofing,” taunting, and otherwise unsportsmanlike behavior to a minimum. Your posts will more than likely be deleted, and worse yet, you reflect badly on yourself, your favorite team and your conference.