This letter was received by Editor Brooke Meier.
Who makes a hockey team? The players, the coach. What about the parents, the teachers, the community? At Huron Valley, we have been blessed to have a tremendous community helping to raise and support an outstanding varsity hockey team – the Lakeland Eagles! As a parent of a child with special needs, who is part of this team, I want to take the time to thank the players, the coaches, the parents, the teachers and the community for raising these young men to be leaders on and off the ice.
The Lakeland Eagles varsity hockey team has been the embodiment of inclusion, something educators strive for every day. Only these athletes didn’t have a game plan for inclusion. You see, they had been taught at a young age that Team does not include “I.” Coach Tim Ronayne had a plan to seek out a student manager to help the Lakeland Eagles Varsity Hockey Team. He might have been surprised when these two young men showed up for duty, happy to assist and help cheer on their beloved Eagles. As a parent of one of these managers, my son has grown socially due to the leadership and commitment of everyone on this Team.
As recent studies show, being a part of an after school activity such as sports helps to increase grades, social skills and overall responsibility for our future men and women. While the Lakeland Eagles have certainly won numerous games, that is not the biggest success for this team, or my son. The biggest success of the Lakeland Eagles hockey team is how well they support each other on and off the ice, every defensemen, linemen, forward, goalie, coach and student manager. That takes courage, determination, leadership and a drive for excellence. This cannot be taught in one season. The Eagles have helped teach my son what it means to be a part of a team. This would not have happened without the team’s strong leadership skills, coming from both the coaching staff and the players. As the season winds down and the seniors look towards their college days, may they know they have made a difference in the life of classmate and in the life of a family. As my son states before every game, “GO EAGLES!!”