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Chase-ing his dream

Sophomore to move to Michigan to continue hockey career.

Sophomore+Chase+Yoder+enters+the+zone+in+a+game+with+the+Dallas+Stars+16UAAA+team.
Sophomore Chase Yoder enters the zone in a game with the Dallas Stars 16UAAA team.

Sophomore Chase Yoder enters the zone in a game with the Dallas Stars 16UAAA team.

Carl T Domke

Carl T Domke

Sophomore Chase Yoder enters the zone in a game with the Dallas Stars 16UAAA team.

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Chase Yoder’s hockey career is changing on the fly. The 16-year-old sophomore has been selected to compete in the United States Hockey League, a junior league with players ranging from 16-20 years old.

“USA Hockey has two teams, a U17 team and a U18 team, and they have a tryout called ‘Top 40.’ I was selected for that at the beginning of March,” Yoder said. “So I went up to that at the end of March and tried out against the top 40 players in the nation, and we played five games and two practices.”

Following the tryouts, the players underwent interviews with coaches and were afterwards informed whether or not they made the team.

“They asked stuff just to test our mental toughness,” Yoder said. “So they asked me stuff about my family life and all my brothers and how I would react to moving up [to Michigan] by myself and stuff like that, and at the end, they informed us if we made the team or didn’t make the team. Fortunately, I did make the team.”

Making the team calls for Yoder to move to Michigan in August for the following school year, in closer proximity to USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, where the tryouts were held.

As a member of the team, Yoder will compete against not only with teams across nation, but across the world as well.

“We will also be doing some international tournaments with teams like Russia, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and a bunch of other international competition,” Yoder said.

Yoder’s natural position on the ice is center, the position well-known for being the one that takes the “face-off” at the beginning of each play.

“Centers take the face-offs, which is what most people know,” Yoder said. “They participate more in the offensive zone but they also have some defensive roles, too.”

Yoder’s hockey journey started very early, and came from a personal place.

“I’ve been playing ever since I was about 3 or 4,” Yoder said. “I started because of my older brother, Andy, who played at McKinney, and I grew up watching him.”

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About the Writer
Austin Keefer, Staff Writer

Running on all caffeine and no sleep, Austin Keefer is 17 years young and in his senior year of high school, as well as his third year on The RedLedger staff. In those three years, he has interviewed everyone from coaches to cops to Congressional candidates. He enjoys his role as the instigator and blood-boiler, a role that spans eight periods of school and beyond. Yeah, he’s that guy, with jokes and one-liners that range from witty to dirty and are found funny by few besides himself. He also prides himself on his old-school tastes, preferring fedoras to dye, talking to texting, and cards to Fort Night or whatever the heck it’s called. This third year coincides with his third year of acting in the school’s Theatre program, where he’s portrayed everyone from pirates to detectives to (gulp) Nazis. Now there are a few photo ops that are best kept buried….

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Chase-ing his dream