Growing up in Edina, MN is a great experience. One of the highlights of the year is the state hockey tournament. If Edina made (which we always did) we’d get the days of school off and everyone would go to the Xcel Center dressed up like maniacs and cheer like mad for the Hornet players. Hockey there is huge and it doesn’t get any bigger than the state tourney. You can imagine how happy i was to see Sports Illustrated do an article about this year’s team.
THE BOYS made a pledge, like many 13-year-olds do. No contract. No blood oath. Just a promise. In 2004, five eighth-graders from Edina, Minn., teammates in the youth hockey program, committed to the same dream. They would not merely win the state high school hockey championship someday. They would win it together, for Edina High.
It might not have been an extraordinary pledge in other sports, but in hockey, star players have the opportunity to leave high school for prep schools, junior leagues or the national development program in Ann Arbor, Mich. The idea of playing against better competition, developing more rapidly and enhancing their value to Division I schools or NHL scouts is too seductive for many boys to resist. Stay at your high school and you’ll go to your prom—but you might not go to the pros.
No matter: For kids steeped in Minnesota’s puck culture some things are more important. “My heroes [growing up] weren’t guys who played for the [NHL’s Minnesota] Wild,” says Edina’s Baker, 17, a defenseman who will play for Holy Cross next year. “They were guys who played at the high school.”
Damn straight. High school hockey is ridiculously awesome. Go Hornets