Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

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Beach Meets Ice: Venice High Students Talk Hockey

Reading Time: 2 minutes

For a sunkissed city such as Los Angeles, there are many factors that make our community a whole and create a sense of unity. We see that here at Venice, where our diverse community is defined and connected by music, art, film, foods, and sports.

Popular among Venice students and California natives include sports such as soccer, football, basketball, or baseball. Basketball games at the Arena are often sold out, and the popularity of soccer among youth is at an all-time high.

While we’re accustomed to seeing jerseys sporting high-profile athletes such as Lionel Messi, LeBron James, or Shohei Ohtani, you may find some folks around the Venice area donning bulky jerseys equipped with “L”
shaped sticks.

Yes, hockey! Hockey has been around for over 100 years and has inspired many (not only in Canada, where the sport originated), but here in the States as well.

Here’s the story of two Venice students who represent hockey teams, even in a city that doesn’t get snow.

Freshman Holden Fisher—California Golden Bears

“It’s a much different game—it’s so fast-paced that it leaves you in awe,” Fisher said. “My dad took me to a game when I was seven and I thought, ‘This is the sport I want to play.’”

You need a little bit of everything to play hockey, Fisher said.

“I always get asked how I have so much stamina or how I’m able to skate so fast,” he said. “It really showed when we played against a team from Canada.”

But like most sports, clubs, and responsibilities, there is a great amount of sacrifice and effort that goes into hockey.

“There’s a lot of balancing between home and social life, school and traveling,” Fisher said. “Some practices and games start at 5 a.m., some could start as late as 10 p.m.”

Sophomore Atticus Kao—El Segundo Strikers

Kao had a different introduction to hockey.

“My mom is from Alaska, so I guess my family wanted to push that culture onto me,” he said. “I started playing when I was three.”

Despite not having a team at Venice High, hockey is still a team sport, and over time, making lasting bonds is a given, according to Kao.

“Due to the physical nature of hockey, it’s pretty easy to build bonds as you generally try to look out for each other,” he said. “Goofing around in the locker room can lead to some outstanding friendships.”

It’s no surprise hockey is a very hands-on physical sport. With rules facilitating fights and scraps, body checks, and teeth flying everywhere, injuries are bound to happen.

However, “hockey players wear the most safety gear out of any mainstream sport and most youth leagues don’t permit the checking like you see in the NHL,” said Kao.

While playing hockey does require skills such as ice skating, it “entails being both a hard worker and a team player,” Kao said.

“It’s unique in its blend of individual performance and team dynamics,” said Kao.

Kao believes that while hockey may present itself as rough and intimidating, more people should give it a chance.

“I would say to just try it,” he said. “It’ll suck at first, because you essentially have to learn how to walk all over again. But once you learn to skate, puck handling and passing will come naturally.”

There’s also nothing like achieving success on the ice.

“The high dopamine reward for scoring a goal or winning a game makes it incredibly hard to not be itching to be on the ice every minute of every day,” said Kao.

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