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The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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Life of a Hockey Star: Alexa Milz

Life+of+a+Hockey+Star%3A+Alexa+Milz

Alexa Milz, a left wing for the Florida Alliance hockey team, reflects on her competitive hockey career. As she begins training for Nationals, Milz gives insights on her enthusiasm for the sport, the sacrifices she made, and the perseverance she demonstrated in the face of challenges. 

How long have you been playing hockey? 

“I’ve been playing hockey since I was about seven years old, but I learned to skate when I was three.”

Where do you play?

“I currently play left wing for Florida Alliance, but I’ve played for the Madison Capitols, Team Illinois, and the Highland Park Falcons in the past. I played for the Scouts for my sophomore year, but was unable to finish the season due to my hip surgery.”

What made you choose a team in Florida?

“I decided to play for Florida because of the incredible opportunities that were promised. The head coach saw me play at a showcase, and really liked how I played. He put a lot of effort into recruiting me, and all of the amazing things he was able to offer me were very difficult to turn down. Plus, it was promised that we would be able to go to the national tournament, and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to experience, and playing for Florida would give me that opportunity.”

What is the off season like?

“The off season doesn’t really exist. Right after the season ends, spring hockey skates start the following week, and teams already start picking players for the next year. Tryouts are held about two months after the season ends, and then summer training starts, and lasts until the start of the season in September. This makes it extremely hard to get away on vacation, to get a summer or off-season job, to hang out with friends and family, and lots more. It’s very tiring and this long season has high chances for burnouts and improper recovery.”

How do you balance academics? 

“At first, it was very hard to balance hockey and academics. I remember in 6th grade, when I first started playing AAA hockey, my grades took a very big toll. But after that first year, I learned how to multitask, and got good enough at it that I started challenging myself with AP and honors, and have managed to do well in my classes.”

Have you had any setbacks?

“I’ve had plenty of setbacks. The biggest setback I’ve faced was tearing my hip, and having surgery during my sophomore year, and second year U16 season. I continued to play on my torn hip for weeks, not realizing how bad it had torn, and only continued to get worse. It was especially frustrating because it happened at a time in my career when I was playing my best. I look back at old videos of me playing before my injury, and it makes me a little sad, because as well as I have recovered, I still don’t feel the same as I did before.”

How long were you off the ice?

“I had surgery in December and I got back on the ice sometime in June. “

What was it like not playing hockey for that long?

“It was so hard not being on the ice for the extended period of time it took to recover. It was also hard because I wasn’t cleared to skate during tryouts for the next season, so I had called up the coach of the Capitols and asked if I could send videos of me playing, instead of skating out for my tryout. Thankfully, he took me on the team with the videos I had.”

What was recovery like?

“The recovery was challenging, but I was determined to get out of physical therapy and back onto the ice as fast as I possibly could. It felt like the slowest six to seven months of my life, but my physical therapists said that they hadn’t been able to clear a patient as fast as they were able to clear me.”

How did it feel going back to hockey?

“When I first got back onto the ice, it almost felt like I hadn’t left. When I first stepped out, it definitely felt weird at first, but my skating hadn’t been affected by the surgery, because it was so second nature to me.”

Do you have any plans for hockey in the future?

“My plans for hockey in the future are still undecided, but I definitely hope to play in college. I’m thinking about playing club hockey wherever I end up, so I’m able to focus more on school and enjoy the college experience while still having fun and playing hockey competitively. “

 

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About the Contributor
Elise Raffiani
Elise Raffiani, Staff Writer
Elise Raffiani is a senior at Lake Forest High School. She does many sports like Cross Country, Gymnastics, and Track & Field. She also participates in many clubs! Outside of school, you will find Elise with a camera working on film projects.
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