When I was four years old I was given my first pair of hockey skates. This pair of skates was a birthday present from my grandmother. It was in October, there wasn’t any ice yet so I had to wait for the cold weather. In December I went to the pond. There were many boys there playing hockey but I didn’t know how to skate yet. My mother helped me along telling me how to skate, and after awhile I began to figure it out.
I skated for four years before my mother finally let me play organized hockey thanks to Carter’s mom. I began hockey the winter of 2000. I only knew one kid on the team. I made friends quickly so after a few weeks I had many new friends.
My first couple years of hockey were a challenge for me, for the simple reason that I couldn’t stop, so every time I needed to stop I just ran into the boards. Not being able to stop made hockey difficult so my coach taught me how. Being one of the fasted kids on the ice was not good for a kid that couldn’t stop. I remember my first goal I scored, I skated down on a breakaway and put it right under the goalie’s pads. After I scored I hit the boards. I scored seven goals that year, all resulting in me hitting the boards.
During the summer after my first year of hockey I attended a hockey school to help teach me the basics. I learned how to shoot a proper wrist shot, stop, and stick handle. I learned a lot at the school and when I went home I worked on everything I learned on my own. My mom continued to help me skate and took me down to the outdoor ice. I always wanted to go skate with the older kids but they never would let me play.
As the years went on I improved enough to play with the older kids. None of them play organized hockey they just played for fun. The pond was a great place to learn how to skate and play hockey. During my fifth year of hockey my age group was called peewees. This was the year that we were able to start checking. Our coach told us that we didn’t need to try for a highlight reel hit, so he taught us how to check affectively. My first year of peewees I scored 63 goals.
This year was a huge accomplishment for the team because we won one of the biggest tournaments in South Dakota. In that tournament we played the host of the tournament and beat them twelve to three. In our second game we played Pierce and won six to five. In the championship we played Aberdeen. In that game we went into overtime. In overtime it’s the first team to score that wins. We skated down on the first faceoff I passed the puck, got it back, shot and scored. That was the biggest adrenaline rush I ever had had. I skated jumped up and down and my team tackled me.
I played two years of peewees and the next year I was called a bantam. This was a bad year for our hockey team. We went from playing B hockey to playing A. This meant that we had to play the best kids in the state of North Dakota. We only won eight out of thirty some games. On January 2nd of this season I broke my arm. We were playing the Dickinson Migets. I skated into the corner and out of the corner of my eye I saw a body come my way, I tried to turn away but he hit me in the back and I hit the boards face first. When I stood up I couldn’t pick up my stick so I knew something was wrong. I took my glove off and I could see a bump on my arm and then I felt the pain. I knew I had broke my arm. I went to the ER and had a x-ray done. We received the good news that I didn’t need surgery. We went home and the next week I went to the doctor. They took another x-ray and sent it to Fargo. A couple days later me received a call that I needed to have surgery on my arm. My mother and I went to Fargo the next week and I had surgery. They put a steel plate and six screws in my arm.
I took a big step this year and started high school hockey. This was a huge jump from the year before. The kids were bigger, faster, and stronger than the year before. We started out the season with a four to one lose to Hazen-Beula. Our second game was going to be a bad game. We were playing the defending state champions. We started the season with two losses, losing our second game twelve to one. I scored the only goal and that was really exciting.
Grand Forks Red River has one of the best hockey programs in the EDC. The EDC consists of, Wahpeton, Fargo North, Fargo South, Fargo Shanley, West Fargo, Red River, and GF Central. When you look at the Fargo, and Grand Forks schools you realize that they graduate close to six hundred students a year to Wahpeton’s two hundred students.
As the season went on we were getting better. We started to play like a team and our coach started pushing us in drills till we understood them. We got better and better and then we won our first game. We were playing Bagley Minnesota. In the JV game I played one period, and got clocked by a kid coming off the bench. During the Varsity game I was waiting for a face-off, I took one step and I feel on the ice. I went to the hospital and had an x-ray on my ankle. I was there for about an hour. They sent the x-ray to Minneapolis and they told us that it was a bone contusion. Bone contusions are bad bruises to the bone. I had to take a few weeks off of hockey. Every week I came back trying to skate but it wasn’t feeling great yet.
I came back after three weeks of sitting out. I was in trouble with my grades. I was going to hockey two times a day, once after school and again at about eight-thirty. Hockey is a sport that if you don’t put in the time you won’t succeed. I was putting in about three to four hours of hockey daily. I wasn’t keeping up in school so I began failing. While I was failing I couldn’t play hockey. My coach wouldn’t let me practice with the team. I had to work hard at school. I started to come back and was ready to play by our last game.
Our last game was against Fargo Shanley. They are one of our biggest rivals. Every year we play them in a play-in game. We need to win this game to keep playing. This was our seniors last chance to go to an EDC tourney. Our coach told us to leave it all on the ice. Every little bit of energy we had, we used. We took an early lead one to zero. But then we fell apart. We were way to confident after the goal. We were losing five to one after one period. The second period was better we gave up two goals but we couldn’t score on their goalie. The third period we let up zero goals but only put one in. We finished the game losing seven to two.
In the locker room our seniors had a speech, they told us to never give up. They told us not to give up hope that someday we will go to EDC. Our coach came into the locker room, told us he was proud that we didn’t give up. We got in the showers then loaded the bus. When we were back to Wahpeton we decided to go the Fryin Pan.
Hockey gave me major set backs during the school year. I had to learn how to keep up with m¥ school work and also be able to stay at my peak for hockey. In the next couple years I will have to work on staying on task in school and work hard to get everything done.
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