Rockies players (left to right) Riley Knott

The off-ice life of a Rockies player

You've seen the Rockies on the ice, but how different are their lives off the ice?

By Sarah Kloos

Special to the Valley Echo

You’ve seen the Rockies on the ice, but what are their lives like off the ice? How do they deal with school? Is it hard for the billets to be away from home? What’s it like to have such busy schedules at such a young age? Owen Lee, Ryan Skytt (from Drumheller), Tyler Bordt (from Okotoks), and Kyler Schmigelsky can answer that.

The Rockies practice every weekday. They have to leave school after only three classes, and they miss the whole afternoon, finishing practices in the early evening. Luckily for them, the teachers are very understanding. With good communication, and a little help sometimes, they can catch up to their peers easily. Most Rockies take their easier courses during hockey season to be able to stay on top of things, and not have the stress of classes on top of their performance in games.

Things are a bit different for the Rockies who aren’t from town. They’ve come to a new place to play hockey and go to school, but it’s like being the new kid. They’re meeting people who’ve probably played hockey together for years, and they do their best to fit in; luckily, playing hockey together is a great way to bond with the other players. Although their parents come to visit often, the billets can easily become homesick. Tyler Bordt says, “Our parents come to almost every home game, but it’s hard to be away from our friends.”

It sure isn’t easy, missing their homes, but these guys enjoy playing hockey with the Rockies.

Kyler Schmigelsky, a Grade 11 student at David Thompson Secondary School, plays hockey for the Rockies. He’s one of the youngest players on the team, but he still plays a fair amount during games. The fact that he made it on the team means he’s got skills as a hockey player.

“It’s cool to be this young and still get this much playing time,” Kyler says.

Life might be a little hectic sometimes for these young Rockies with all the stress of school and a busy hockey schedule on top of that, but they have some fun along the way, and in the end it’s all worth it.