The East Vision

Students playing hockey at the highest level

Emily Bergstrom, Staff Writer

Hockey season is in full swing and the EGR hockey team is doing very well. After all, what many of us forget is that there are many other people who go to East that play hockey, but they do not play for the high school team. These are the people who play on club hockey teams.

Some of the more well known club teams around the Grand Rapids area is the Graha team out of Patterson Ice Center and the Fox Motors team out of Southside Ice Arena.

Many argue that playing club hockey will lead to more success than high school hockey would.

“We play more games in the season and it’s very fast paced,” Primo Self ‘20 said. “We also travel a lot more and are gone almost every weekend. The positives to that is there is more exposure to college coaches.”

Hockey players who want to continue their hockey careers through college usually take this route due to the many opportunities that may come with it. Another thing that varies between club hockey and high school hockey is that club hockey is much more of a time commitment.

“I like playing club hockey because the competition is good,” Owen Albert ‘21 said. “It is definitely worth the long weekends away from home.”

Like many other hockey players, Owen Albert spends his weekends in popular hockey spots like Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Traverse City. At these tournaments, the teams play against other club teams from around either the Midwest or the country. These tournaments are very intense.

“My favorite part about these tournaments is the competitiveness between the teams,” Christian Montgomery ‘19 said.

All in all, both of the club players agree that the time spent away from home will be worth it in the long run.

Unlike travel hockey programs, the high school team plays for the goal of winning a state championships.

“I stopped playing travel hockey because traveling to Detroit every Sunday for a game got old,” Robbie Stuursma ‘20 said. “Playing for your school is pretty cool because you’re playing for a state championship to represent your school.”

The idea of playing for a state title is something that many people want to do. Playing a high school team is a great opportunity to take pride in your school and represent it well.

Either way, high school hockey and club hockey are both great ways to play the sport. When playing for a club hockey team, it can be nerve wracking due to the close watch of the college coaches. But then again, playing in front of the student body is arguably just as intimidating. After reading the opinions of many of our classmates, it is clear that hockey is a great sport to play: the team that you play on does not matter.  What matters the most is the success anyone finds through playing.

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