Hockey team still striving for recognition from school

As season prepares to kick off next week, hockey club still seeks recognition at school


Dominic Renaud

Members of the FHC ice hockey club line the bench during practice on Sept. 25 at the Rec-Plex in St. Peters. The team begins its season Monday, Nov. 3 against Lindbergh at the Kennedy Arena.

David Beecher, Staff reporter

Recognition. The most treasured reward in high school sports, felt by all those who put in the time to make their team great, except for hockey that is. Senior Andy Moats and the rest of the hockey team deal with the ups and downs felt by the team due to hockey’s non sponsorship by Missouri State High School Activities Association.

Though at face value it may seem like a complete disappointment, many of the players feel as though there are some perks to the isolation.

“One of the perks is that any punishment from the school doesn’t affect your season,” senior Matt Dickens said. “Plus, our fans can come to games and get extremely rowdy without the fear of principals.”

However, through the freedom there comes baggage, all players favor the crowd at their games to the quieted, sometimes silenced crowds of official school events. Yet there is always the allure of recognition that they forever go without.

“When we are successful nobody really knows until we tell them,” Dickens said. “And we don’t get to see our favorite teachers at our games but they can go to other sports.”

So there is a flipside to ignorance of the sport from the school. Perhaps a middle ground can be found, changes without full commitment from the school, a bridge to be built between school and the ice.

“I’m not looking for the sport to become ‘school sponsored’ because that is obviously unreasonable,” Moats said. “But I work just as hard as the next athlete and bear the Spartan head on my chest, all I’m asking for is recognition.”

It is not the unofficiality, but the disregard of the hard work, and in turn the success that comes from being a team. The allure of high school for an athlete is to walk the halls knowing people are aware of what you’ve done for the history books.

“I walk around the school with my head down with no recognition to the fact that I am an athlete,” Moats said. “I do work just as hard as others, yet I never see the fruit of my labor.”

And so players alike desire the recognition, with any activity that runs through the MSHSAA, their attendance, grades, injury, practice, and numerous other guidelines that coaches and players must follow to play, otherwise resulting in ineligibility and stripping of wins or titles. However, without these there is an essence of breathing room, no officials or principals breathing down their necks on following rules or ethical guidelines.

The fans also notice the difference, especially with the no principal guiding. The mood at a football game and hockey game at their highest point is completely different.

“Hockey games are most enjoyable because it’s a tight space and being loudest is big for the team,” Chase Webert, crowd leader said. “When there’s no restrictions on what you can chant, all the fans have a better time.”

However, the fans certainly notice a difference in their wallets from the hockey games. Due to their independence, hockey games cost four dollars each without the permittance of an athletic pass like in other high school sports.

“The worst part about being a fan is the cost,” senior Jacob Gajewski said. “Everyone wants to go, but we can’t all afford to spend 12 dollars a week on hockey games.”