It’s not very common to find a high schooler who plays hockey in this area of the country. Most hockey players are from The United States are either from the Northeast or Great Lakes regions. Our region has very few ice rinks and no high schools in Washington offer the sport. It is even more rare to find a girl who plays hockey. Here at Bellarmine, there is one, junior Mikayla Anderson.
Anderson has played hockey for almost eight years now. She said, “I went to a birthday party at Sprinker when I was 10 and my dad saw a flyer about learning how to play hockey. We were interested and I decided to sign up. I fell in love with it.”
Hockey has its many challenges and Anderson has dealt with them well. Due to the lack of participation in this area, play is in very few places. She has practice twice a week in Everett and Shoreline. On top of that she has two games every weekend and these are often in Bellingham and British Columbia. Anderson also gives back to her community by helping coach her younger brother’s peewee hockey team.
On top of playing the game, Anderson also follows college and professional hockey. Her favorite player is Ryan Kesler the center for the Anaheim Ducks. Ever since she has been a little kid she has been a big fan of the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings.
When asked why hockey is not very prevalent here, she was surprised on the lack of attention it gets. She said, “Hockey should be big here since we border Canada, but since we don’t have an NHL(National Hockey League) team not a lot of people pay attention to the sport.”
Anderson has her attention not only set on her hockey right now, but has many goals for her future. She is planing on playing hockey in college and is starting the process of emailing college coaches and researching teams she is interesting in playing for.
Along with the great fun she has had in playing hockey, it has been a positive influence in other parts of her life.
She said, “Hockey has taught me a lot about the dedication needed to reach my goals, both on and off the ice. It has given me the opportunity to create strong bonds with my teammates, coaches, and most especially, my dad. I found what I’m most passionate about because he pushed me to be different and for that I am grateful.”
Anderson has found a game she loved which has helped her find a passion in life and learn many great life lessons. She plays a sport that very few others in our area play. Anderson did not let only having one girls’ team in Washington keep her from playing. Due to the lack of girls’ teams in the area, Anderson played hockey on a boys’ team for four years before making the switch. It is great to acknowledge someone who has found the game they love and that is exactly what Mikayla Anderson has done.