Gym shorts : Lindsay Aker, Hockey

Gym shorts : Lindsay Aker, Hockey

Over the years hockey has sparked some controversy on whether girls should have their own league or continue to play co-ed. Palmer’s hockey team is co-ed.

Lindsay Aker is one of the four girls on Palmer’s hockey team. She was first introduced to hockey by her dad and her brother; her dad grew up playing hockey, so it is in her DNA. She says, “My brother pushes me to be better at hockey so I can continue to beat him.”

In the off-season Palmer’s hockey team practices to prepare for the long season to come. It is said that it is not smart to do this because hockey is such a rough sport, and it is easy to get injured before the season has even started. Lindsay says her worst injury was a puck to the leg without padding (for reference, a puck can travel up to 105mph). She has even been knocked out while playing, but she just gets back up and continues to hold nothing back. She says she has known people who have gotten massive concussions from fouls during games, and its horrifying to hear that a student at Palmer has even died from the harsh reality of hockey. Even with this knowledge, Lindsay continues to go hard at hockey, saying, “I don’t notice at first when I’m playing that hockey is such a dangerous game, but when I occasionally get knocked out, I realize how dangerous the sport really is.”

We wanted to get a boy’s point of view on the situation, so we asked Marcus Mancini, a Palmer Hockey player, a couple of questions. Marcus is more of a fighter than a calm player. When we asked him if he would fight for the puck against a girl, and present the same amount of aggression as he would if it were a boy, he said he would. “No matter what gender, they all are still players. That’s what they signed up for.” His thoughts about playing with girls are that it is good to have some diversity so we and they can get “more experience playing with different people.” He said that he grew up in Minnesota, so hockey is a big deal, and he was not into football or basketball. He believes hockey is the best choice for him.

To prevent injury and fouling, Lindsay and Marcus both agree that they can get into the action without going too far. To prevent injury, Lindsay says, “I like to get in the action and go for the puck without fouling. If I see someone really coming at me, I don’t try to instigate or do the same thing back to them.” She says, “It’s scary at first, but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.” Because of the lack of interest in girls who play hockey Palmer has no choice but to have a co-ed team. Lindsay wants more girls to get involved in hockey so that eventually one day we can at least have the option for a girl’s hockey team. But in the meantime, she is forced to play with the boys.

Outside of hockey Lindsay is an all-A student and is involved with many other things that Palmer has to offer. She is a band kid and plays percussion at the marching band parades, and games. She will also play soccer in the spring for Palmer.

This winter season we encourage you to show your love and support by attending hockey and basketball games and swimming and wrestling meets.