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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Curiosity tackles hockey fear

My vast knowledge of hockey has come from a childhood watching the Mighty Ducks movies and seeing the Maple Leaf Tie Domi?s toothless grin on ESPN.

I love watching brawls which make Sportscenter top 10 plays and I know the big names like Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux. But past these trivial facts, I know nothing about the most popular sport invented in Canada. However, spending a Tuesday night playing with guys more than twice my age taught me more than Barry Melrose could ever show me on ESPN.

When Tom McEntee, drama adviser, invited me to play floor hockey with some of his friends I was skeptical to say the least. He had described many of his hockey exploits and it sounded like his friends had been playing since they were old enough to hold a stick. I figured McEntee thought it might be amusing to watch the kid who was born in Tampa, Florida, where ice is only found in soda glasses, get his clock cleaned by guys born in Ontario and Vancouver.

Yet for some strange reason, I found myself in the FC gym at 9 P.M. attempting slap shots. I felt so lost; the little floor hockey experience I have has come from two years of PE with coach (Scott) Callisch. While I loved playing in class, everyone knew about as much as I did or less. The men in the gym that night had been playing hockey since before I was born.

My fears only grew when I saw that Greg Stobbe, journalism adviser, on the other team. One does not go to this campus for four years and not learn of his hockey obsession. At one point in the night, he scored on a half court shot. No one makes a half court shot in hockey unless there is an open net. I couldn’t believe Stobbe blew it by him from 50ft. out!

All fears aside, I had more fun playing that night than I had in a few months. I ran. I tackled. I fell. I had three assists. It was exhilarating. At one point I was goalie and Stobbe came in on a breakaway. Not knowing what to do, I ran forward and braced myself for a collision and when it came, I felt great. I blocked the shot and hit a teacher. Not that I want to hurt teachers, but given the chance, who wouldn?t.

After we finished playing I was exhausted and even two days later my body keeps sending me signals of its fatigue through sore muscles and bones. However, I would play again if given the opportunity. I learned that hockey is not about the fights or carnal brutality (although it plays quite a large role). Hockey is about teamwork. A player must keep track of each teammates roles and locations and figure out how to collaborate to have a goal, literally.

If I could actually skate, I might play more. But for now, I?ll stick with tennis shoes and a soft puck. Anyone who wants some fun and a lot of exercise should consider playing. Besides, where else can you hit a teacher?

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