High school hockey is something that isn’t too common in the Midwest. If players want to play anywhere they have to travel and sometimes leave their home and friends. Luckily, for local players, Cedar Rapids has a program to offer.
The program is made up of high school students from many area high schools including Iowa City West, Jefferson, Linn Mar, Clear Creek Amana, West Liberty, Danville, Kennedy, Xavier, Washington, Iowa City High and Prairie. The Cedar Rapids Roughrider High School Hockey is just like any other high school sport; they have a JV and Varsity team for the players. Ethan Kochanny, a sophomore at Solon says, “ It is great to be apart of a great association and to have a community that is so supportive.
Many of the players have been playing for most of their life, including Carter Renwick a sophomore at Prairie who started playing when he was two years old. For him, the Cedar Rapids program was something that kept him in the area. “ I played in Des Moines and Kansas City the past four years but if I would’ve kept doing that then I would’ve had to move away from home.”
Cameron Walker, a freshman at Linn Mar says “It means a lot to be a hockey player in the Midwest because it’s very competitive…it’s also great to be one locally because there’s not many people who play so it’s great to be one of the few that does.” The boys are training off and on the ice for countless hours a week as well as having games on the weekdays and weekends, “ We make it work because we are not allowed to by in our league unless our school says we are academically eligible,” Eric Wisnousky a sophomore at Prairie states.
This season the JV team has a record of 14-8 and they are hoping to have a run in the playoffs tournament in early March. The Varsity team this season has had a lot of injuries setting them back to where they did not do as well as they wanted. However the bonds of the boys are strong. “It’s like it is like a second family that understands you in a different way than anyone else. You have a very different bond with them that doesn’t compare to any other bond I’ve experienced.” Wisnousky said.
“It feels great to be apart of a team that’s always fighting to make a statement and show that we are good.”- Cameron Walker, Linn Mar ’20
Many players hope to go on to play in college and or coach in the future as opportunities arise. For now, they will be sticking to playing in Cedar Rapids and around the Midwest with teammates like their brothers.
Special thanks to Cameron, Eric, Carter and Ethan for letting me interview them.