Thursday, April 19, 2018

Humboldt Strong

My 16 year old hockey player needed to write an essay for school today. Here it is.

Humboldt Strong

by Sophia Burns

On April 6, 2018 tragedy struck and my heart shattered when I learned of a
Canadian junior hockey team involved in a fatal bus crash. 17 lives were lost and
13 were injured. It hit close to home.

Every year when winter rolls around, and it's time for my favorite sports
season, I get on a coach bus with 18 of my best friends for our travel games.

Blasting music, watching movies like Miracle on Ice, Slapshot, and Mighty Ducks,
long naps and messing with the first teammate to fall fast asleep.

Getting on the bus after a tough loss, that seemingly only brings us closer together
as we ride in silence, knowing we gave it our all.

The sweetest of victories against rivals, where we are singing Sweet Caroline at the
top of our lungs, as our coach shields his ears during our
terrible high-pitched off- key singing.

The rides back on Sunday nights from the long weekend trips in which we all
scramble to get the homework assignments finished, helping each other out
to get them done.

Some of my best memories happened on these bus trips; teammates
turned into sisters and fun times turned into life long memories.

There comes a time in every hockey players career when they have to hang up
their skates, hand in their jersey, and suit up for the last time.

But, no hockey player ever imagines the last time will be the time when you step
on a bus... on the way to a game.

What happened to the Humboldt Broncos is unimaginable...truly devastating
to those of us in the hockey community.

This Band of Brothers were robbed of their childhoods, and from each other,
but the one thing that could never be taken from them was the bond that they all
had together. Supportive of one another, surviving or passed, nothing could ever
break the bonds that these boys have for one another.

Being on a team, you go through the most heartbreaking of times,
but also the happiest of your lives. Going through something like this,
you start to question what good could come out of something so tragic.

For Ryan Straschnitzki, he has been keeping a positive outlook and
striving to make a good situation a possible outcome from such devastation.

Ryan Straschnitzki was among the surviving players in the crash,
but not nearly without a scratch.

Ryan went through a seven-hour long surgery, in which rods were placed in his back,
and fluids were removed from his lungs,
where there was bleeding. It is very unlikely that he will walk again,
let alone be able to skate. Instead on dwelling on this,

Ryan is already thinking ahead to the alternative. He will be joining sled hockey
and will hopefully be on the Olympic team.

I will definitely be rooting for him, and watching him play.

Rest in Peace boys, skate forever in happiness. #HumboldtStrong