Jake Me Out to the Ballgame: Junior Hockey shouldn’t shorten high school


Web Lehmann

Jake Me Out to the Ballgame is a monthly sports column by Sports Editor Jake Adams.

As the hockey season comes to a close, certain student athletes have a choice to make that can seriously affect their future. The students can either stay at school until the end of their senior year and then try and catch on with a junior team or sign with a junior team when they turn 16 and get a head start on their potential hockey careers.

While it may be tempting to play hockey in a different town to get a jump start on the future, players should stay in high school until they graduate. When students go off to play hockey in other towns, they put the quality of their education at risk and if hockey doesn’t work out for them, their future outside of hockey is uncertain.

It would be more reasonable for junior hockey teams to start pursuing players after they finish their senior high school season. The Minnesota High School Coaches Association has already proposed that they extend the season by two games and add three minutes of playing time to each period, thereby giving them the experience of a junior game.

This isn’t enough; if MHSCA wants to prevent students athletes from leaving school, they can do so by raising the age of players for junior hockey from 16 to 18. Let student athletes finish their high school education and honor their commitment to the high school team by removing the option (and the pressure) of Junior Hockey.