STUDY HALL – Highlighting high school writers, players

At Study Hall, a brand-new feature on MiHockeyNow, we’re giving students the opportunity to cover their own high school teams.  We take pride in our high school hockey players in this state, and it’s time that we recognize the students writing about the game just as much as the players on the ice.

Want to get involved? Know a standout high school student who is a great writer? Contact editor Michael Caples at mcaples@mihockeynow.com, or contact us via our Facebook/Twitter pages.

Check out the articles below to see some of the best writing high school hockey has to offer.

Howell hockey supports troops

Our second article comes from Patrick Miller, the sports editor for Howell’s student paper. Patrick writes about how his school’s hockey team is helping Operational Gratitude.

By Patrick Miller -

The Howell hockey team hit the ice again on Tuesday, January 31. Unlike most games, however, they were playing for something much bigger than themselves.

The Highlanders held a fundraiser supporting the military at Grand Oaks Arena.

They ended up raising $235 for the military charity, Operational Gratitude.

The money was raised through donations by individuals that attended the game and through a 50/50 raffle. The Howell hockey program donated half of the money earned and the winner of the 50/50 also donated a portion back to the charity.

The cash donation to the charity is used to purchase items for care packages that are sent out to troops, active or injured.

A few parents from the team researched military charities online and decided on Operation Gratitude for several reasons.

“The first reason was because the charity lends support to active military personnel in addition to wounded personnel. The second reason was because Operation Gratitude responded to our inquiry so quickly. The third reason we picked Operation Gratitude was because we could involve ourselves by sending letters to the service men and women in addition to our monetary donation,” Howell team manager Carrie Mitter said.

Many people that attended the game wrote letters to troops at a table the Highlanders had set up.

A younger sister of a Howell player even took the idea to her elementary classroom and her entire
class wrote letters to send to the troops.

The players donned camouflaged uniforms as they faced Farmington in a tough matchup.

Howell senior forward P.J. Krystyniak scored in the first period. Senior Travis Wever knocked in the Highlander’s final goal on an empty net late in the third period. These were the only two scores of the night as Howell escaped with 2-0 victory.

Senior goalie Andrew Brownlee stepped up for Howell, recording 25 saves in a solid shutout win.

“Our great d-zone lead to excellent scoring opportunities,” Brownlee said.

There was a very good turnout at the game, with many fans showing off their camo for the United States troops.

P-CEP players ignore rivalry off the ice

Our first article is from Shannon Shaver, a junior at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park.  Shannon writes about how P-CEP hockey players go to school together during the day and then compete against each other at night.

By Shannon Shaver –

The Plymouth Canton Educational Park provides a rare experience for teenage athletes. Though there is one campus, referred to as “the Park,” each of the three high schools, Canton, Plymouth and Salem, has its own sports teams.

Unlike most high school athletes, Park athletes from all three schools walk between classes together, sit at lunch with each other, and sometimes, they are classmates.

Rivalry sparks among the three schools, including the hockey teams.

Canton, Plymouth and Salem hockey players share the same feelings toward each other. On the ice their loyalty is to their team, but outside the rink the games don’t effect their friendships.

“I spend two hours a day in a class with Plymouth’s Rich Guglielmi and Sean Smiatacz and us three are great friends,” Canton senior Spencer Craig said.  “But when we are playing each other, it’s all business, and everyone is doing what they can to earn the win. After that the friendship is still there, win or lose.”

At the end of sixth grade, students receive their random assignment to attend one of the three schools. Hockey players who have played together since childhood are split up in this drawing.

“It’s all random which school you end up with, and a lot of my rivals have played hockey with me ever since I started,” Plymouth senior Nate Stemberger said.

Throughout the separation and animosity, Park hockey players have preserved their friendships with one another.

“Most of the guys from the Park teams are friends,” Salem junior Jake Fedel said. “It’s just a different mentality when we play each other.”