Hardworking Hockey Players Balance School and Sports

Sita Ahlen, Senior Reporter

Hockey, a sport left far behind football, basketball or baseball, has grown close to home. Although one doesn’t usually hear the mumble of hockey fans talking about “last night’s game” as one would football, it happens. Less obvious is the number of students at Manitou who devote their time to practicing on the ice.

It is obvious, and begrudgingly so to some, that Manitou lacks a hockey team. So the students must seek shelter from other schools or programs.

The season runs from December to March, and in those months, the students juggle their school life and time on the ice.

Luckily, the Manitou District is close to the hustle and bustle of hockey lifestyles. The Broadmoor World Arena hosts youth and adult hockey, and Colorado College offers their Division 1 Hockey Program as incentive for their school.

Some of these hockey players are Autumn Lehner (10), Sydney Dawson (10) and Micah McInnis (11).

Autumn Lehner is able to balance school work and sports in a brilliant spectrum. Since they were 6 years old Lehner has been infatuated with everything Hockey related and now, 10 years later, now they are a participant in two teams.

Playing on the Coronado HS Cougars and The 19U Junior Tigers they spend almost all week at practices.

“I do not ever catch a break.” Said Lehner.

On the Junior Tigers their position is on the penalty line, and so far they have only had 1 loss compared to the 9 wins. The team travel around the state to tournaments frequently. The team often meets on weekends as well.

On the all boys Coronado HS Cougars, Lehner plays defense. Thus far the team has experienced 3 wins and 3 losses. Lehner, on a team of all boys, feels a constant stream of sexism.

They do not foresee a future as a professional hockey player, but instead work towards a future of archaeology or geology.

“I will definitely be playing hockey my whole life.” Lehner said.

Micah McInnis (11) has been playing hockey for a lengthy 9 years. As of two years ago he joined the Cheyenne Mountain High School Indians, on varsity. He plays center on the team of 16 players and is brought into the game often.

“I like the hockey lifestyle” said Micah McInnis.

Every week McInnis has 2 practices, and is able to balance his school-athletic calendars easily.

Sophomore Sydney Dawson lives by the mantra “The name on the front is more important than the name on the back”. She explains the quote as the following; you are playing for the team not for yourself. Dawson plays alongside Autumn Lehner on 19U Junior Tigers, on defense, as well as 16U Midget Minor A.

“The comradery is incredible, you become part of the family.”

After 10 years of playing hockey, Dawson is a very hard driven and top-notch player. She even jokes that she was wearing skates in the womb.

“Its an opportunity to play with the boys and show my tough side.” Dawson said.
After years of playing hockey, Lenner, McInnis, and Dawson are all pros at juggling life on and off the ice.