A PK Perspective by Hayden Protsch
The following essay was our 2017 winning submission for the PKAC Scholarship for Post-Secondary Education. Congratulations to Hayden Protsch! Wishing you all the best, whatever your future may hold!
A PK PERSPECTIVE by Hayden Protsch
THE TEAM IS MY FAMILY,
THE RINK IS MY HOME.
This quote can sum up what it means to be a PK. Team can be defined as a group of people linked in a purpose, while family is a group of people made up of partners, children, etc who share common ancestors. The google definition may not fit for this essay, but on or off the ice, inside or outside the rink… my teammates are my “brothers”, and always will be!
I thought I’d never get over getting cut from Lloyd my second year Bantam. But four years later, I can say that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. After that successful bantam season with the PK, I knew I could never play again anywhere but here. Quite a few boys left to try out in Lloyd for U16 the next fall. I couldn’t do it. I just wanted to make the PK midget team. I worked hard, Tryouts came and went, and Jack called me in that last night and offered me the last spot on the team; basically to fill water bottles and learn from the big guys. Jack was honest with me, and I was honest with him. The Missle and Henry made it too. I couldn’t have been more proud to wear a PK jersey again, and to be a fifteen-year-old on a midget PK team, and of course… fill the water bottles.
My four years as a Polar King taught me so many things! Some of them could’ve been learned playing soccer too, but I’m honored that I learned them at the PMM with the best group of guys beside me. I know people in Vermilion talked about me those first couple seasons I played PK. My friends had said I thought I was too good for Vermilion. They didn’t understand that I wanted more than a 22 game hockey season. They said many times that Vermilion A hockey was just as good as double A. Team bonding, endless hours on a bus, weekend road trips, team meals, and those red ties, that’s a small part of a PK experience and why I feel like I always belonged.
PK taught me a lot of life lessons like how to get up again after getting knocked down. We lost some games that we’d like back. Being 15 on a midget team also taught me respect and that was probably my best PK lesson. My coaches taught me to set goals and give your best to reach them. 2016 league finals showed me that anything is truly possible, no matter how far away that goal is, and underdogs truly can win!
On the ice, our “family” faced many high and lows. We celebrated wins, huge wins, but we also suffered tough losses, broken sticks and kicked over garbage cans…
We wore jerseys so we could stand as one off the ice: Dunk tanks, Stampede parades, and food bank drives. We helped a brother bury his Dad and our team’s trainer that season. We helped a brother bury his Grandpa- one of our biggest fans. I’m still sure Logan’s Grandpa took us to that league final. Those red jerseys saw a lot of tears, some happy and some not.
Four years later, I wore a letter; I got to be a leader with Eric and Zemanek. I didn’t have to fill the water bottles anymore. My graduation is coming up and it’s time to move on. I’m leaving the PK family. I’ll always be here though. I know next year, I’ll check in on the boys every now and then, I’ll always care about where PK sits in the standings, and I’m sure the drive for greatness will still be #1 when you wear the PK jersey.
Last year, a teammate shared the quote, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." With the boys, this year I think it’s very fitting.
The off season will approach fast. I’m looking forward to playing my second favorite sport, lacrosse. July will see me at my family’s second home, our cabin at the lake. My life begins officially as an adult. My part time job as an apprentice electrician becomes my full-time job! Hockey season will come again, and if I’m lucky I’ll be in a Tigers jersey the next time I skate at the PMM. My plan will be to keep working and hit college for the January session in 2018 for my first year of electrical.
Lastly, I do want to thank Wayde and his executive. Without this board, there’d be no team.
Without this team, I don’t know where I’d be. Because of the PKAC, I am who I am today.