Hockey with heart

Julia Ketcham, business manager

She quit track. She quit cross country. The passion for hockey took over her heart and she began playing sophomore year, Josselin Juras, senior hockey player.

“I went straight into being a goalie,” Juras said. “I was really different than everyone else because they had all played since they were little and I just started. I grew to really love the sport because of the team work and the environment and just the game.”

As Juras learned to play the game, she became friends with Marybeth Stone, senior from Mundelein high school, and being the only girls on a boys league, the girls had to demonstrate their worth, according to Juras.

“As a girl you have to prove yourself,” Juras said, “Especially to the guys that you’re good enough to play and that you can actually play well. It’s not that weird [being one of the only girls on the team], we don’t change in the same locker room, so we don’t have the locker room environment with all the other guys and have the same bonding experience. But at the end of the day we all play the same game and we play for the same team, so we are all equal on the ice.”

But proving herself and becoming equal on the ice took a lot of practice on and off the ice, according to Stone.

“I have noticed her take more responsibility to get better and being one of the only girls is fun because our boys are hilarious and it’s always a good time to be around them,” Stone said.

According to Stone, the girls feel equal on the ice because the coach treats the girls the same way and for the most part, they can keep up with the boys.

“She definitely has gotten independent over the past four years,” Caroline Winiarski, senior friend of Juras, said. “She started off with running, a sport that her friends and her brother did, and finally decided that she was going to try something new. Sophomore year she decided to join the hockey team, even though she didn’t know anyone and she had never played on an actual team before. Now she is one of the best on the team and is completely dedicated to it. She’s definitely going places and she takes initiative, she is determined and stops at nothing to achieve her goals. She knows exactly what she wants and she’ll be successful in whatever she decides to do.”