Scouts Hockey: A Sport Like No Other

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Scouts Hockey: A Sport Like No Other

John Torosian

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Trevor Mower, a sophomore member of the boys varsity gold hockey team, splits his time between hockey and golf.  This combination, reminiscent of Adam Sandler’s character in the cult classic film Happy Gilmore, forces Trevor to go straight from golf to hockey, leaving homework and dinner for late at night.  

“During the fall season I have 3 commitments: the first one is homework, the second is golf, and the last is hockey. Hockey is last since it isn’t a school sport and we have to pay for our own playing, like selling ads for our hockey yearbook and selling Christmas trees to the public… and that is just for the payment for the season.”  He continued, “Playing two sports is tough since I have golf right after school, and then I would have hockey right after that, meaning I get home around 9:30 or 10 o’clock just to do my homework.  It is very hard to keep track of my homework since I have so much going on in one day.”  

Although boys hockey may not technically be a school sport for LFHS, it is very much a part of plenty of students’ lives.  One of the reasons that boys hockey is such a major commitment is the sheer length of the season (their season runs from the end of August all the way to the beginning of March), making hockey one of the only multi-seasonal sports.  Mower stated, “Having a long season makes it easy to make new friends, but it is very tiring.”  

Another aspect of boys hockey that sets it apart from other sports here at Lake Forest High School is the fact that there are two varsity teams, gold and blue.  Some players on the gold team and JV  are “double rostered,” meaning they can be brought down to JV or brought up to varsity at any given time.  This allows for virtually endless roster combinations, making each team slightly different when they head out onto the rink.  

With twenty boys on blue and sixteen on gold–not to mention the fifteen freshmen, sophomores, and juniors on JV–it’s fair to say that participation in boys hockey is flourishing. In fact, so many kids are interested in being a part of the hockey team that they do it in addition to a school-sponsored sport.  

Being caught between two fantastic sports as well as the everyday rigor of high school is a tough dilemma for Mower and many others.  In fact, Mower shared, “Sometimes I have to skip hockey just for a golf practice, and it’s a terrible thing to have to choose since I love playing both sports. Having both commitments is like studying for final exams every night.”  In other words, every night for kids like Mower is exceptionally busy.  Even without playing another sport in addition to hockey, the physical demands of hockey alone are more than enough.  

Even though hockey is quite the exacting sport, it is also extremely satisfying.  Junior Colson Stutz, varsity blue’s goalie, told TFS, “The experience is really rewarding because you get to see all your hard work throughout the season pay off in a bunch of ways.  The whole team gets to know each other and the games you win and times you spend with your team comes with that.”  The players on varsity enjoy shaving their hair in a fashion similar to the varsity boys football team, but instead of giving mohawks, they elect to shave randomly.  

Varsity blue took on Chicago Latin, a private school in the city, yesterday at Johnny’s Ice House East and unfortunately lost 2-3. Brendan Manfred, a member of varsity blue, believes this is partly due to the recent suspensions that have impacted this year’s early season.  According to Manfred, four players, himself  included, “Got suspended for 5 games for making inappropriate signs.”  He went on to say, “The suspensions definitely hurt, but even without us we still have a solid core of guys who are great hockey players.”  

Staying hopeful, Brendan told me that the suspension is now over and the four players are back and ready for action today, referring to varsity blue’s matchup against Buffalo Grove at 6:30.  This will be taking place at Lake Forest College, and Brendan stressed that it’s a “huge game,” doubling as Lake Forest’s home opener for the young season. It is imperative that the Scouts win the next three games to go 3-and-3 in the seeding round, since they’ve lost all three previous face-offs with opposing schools.  Three wins will get them into “a good league with good competition,” according to Manfred.  With such a long season, being in a challenging league is crucial to getting the most out of the experience.  

Having tough competition may result in less wins, but it also gets the best out of the players, which for Lake Forest High School’s competitive hockey team, means everything.