Has the current NHL lockout prevented you from getting your usual hockey fix? Don’t worry, there is plenty of talent right here in our own neighborhood. Spend some time at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge, in fact, and you’ll be able to watch one of the best hockey players around: Summit High School junior Jackie Koetteritz.Last season Koetteritz played on the boys varsity team … as a sophomore! Although she no longer skates for SHS, Koetteritz did become the first girl ever to be on a team traditionally filled with males. The biggest adjustment, she said, was the “physical nature” of playing with guys.Koetteritz has turned her focus this season to a whole new level of competition. She plays defense for the U16 Midwest AAA team. It is the highest level of girls hockey for a player such as Koetteritz.The AAA team is comprised of the best players in the region and faces off against other teams in the country. Being named to this squad is an accomplishment that the Summit High student is very proud of.Koetteritz is also a member of a U19 Mountain States Girls Hockey League team. Koetteritz plays center for this team, in addition to her traditional blue line position. Defense, offense, boys, girls – it just doesn’t seem to matter for the SHS junior.
Koetteritz’s performance on the ice has earned her a number of notable recognitions. Last year she received the David Olbright Award and was previously named Summit’s best all-around bantam player. Nonetheless, getting to know Koetteritz will tell you that she is not too concerned with any of these personal achievements.After graduating in the spring of 2006, Koetteritz likely will continue her hockey career. She has already received letters to play at Yale, Union and St. Cloud State. Suffice to say, whichever college she commits to will likely be thrilled to have the Breckenridge native.How was your experience playing with a team of all boys?
“It was really different. Playing with guys is a lot more physical; checking brings a whole new aspect to the game.”What is your favorite part about hockey?”I enjoy the how the game is always changing. Also, the speed and intensity make it really fun.”
Do you prefer to play offense of defense?”It depends, because for each team I play on it’s different. It’s fun to be able to switch and play a number positions.”- Sean Star
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