CHS Varsity II Hockey Wins MSHL Academic Award
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Despite the tremendous time commitment and mental game that CHS hockey offers its players, the varsity II team has proved that not only could they fulfill all of the above, but they can do so while excelling academically as well.
The Maryland Student Hockey League, the organization that runs CHS’s hockey league, has awarded CHS’s varsity II team with the MSHL State All Star Academic Team Award, an award presented to the hockey team with the highest average of weighted GPAs.
“As a team, this award means so much,” junior varsity II player Cameron Miller said. “It shows the high standards that we are able to meet in school while committing so much of our time to playing hockey.”
Varsity II came out on top with an average weighted GPA of 3.97, with AP classes weighing the most, honors the second most and regular classes least.
“Being the only varsity II team in the MSHL, we had a tough time winning games,” junior varsity II captain Ben Stanish said. “We proved that although we may not be the most skilled hockey players, we do the best in school.”
The balancing act between keeping up grades and committing to a highly intense and time-consuming sport is a difficult one.
For Stanish, not only does he have CHS practice twice a week and one to three games each week, but he also has practice for an out-of-school team. This busy schedule often gives him a seven-day long schedule of hockey.
“We talk to them about balance in life and the importance of school,” varsity II coach Jim Vagonis said. “That is what come first. However, they don’t want to let their teammates down, so they work hard to maintain both.”
If a student is particularly overwhelmed with school work, Vagonis is understanding.
“From hockey, patience and hard work have really played into maintaining my grades,” Miller said. “I know that if I can accomplish something that may seem impossible on the ice, I can take the time to study, do well on a hard test and not give up.”
There is a requirement for every CHS sports team that every player must maintain a minimum WGPA of a 2.0 to stay on the team. However, Vagonis has created his own expectations for his players.
“When a player drops below a 3.0, things start to change when it comes to playing hockey,” Vagonis said. “We start to talk with them and pay closer attention to their grades. [If we] do not see improvement, then we start to limit their participation in the program. The good news is, this does not happen very often.”
Although the varsity II team came in first place, varsity I was a close second with an average WGPA of 3.965, a mere five-thousandth of a point away from first place.
“In hockey, all you can do is bring 100 percent every time you’re on the ice,” Stanish said. “That’s all you can do in school as well. No matter how smart you are or how good at hockey you are, if you give it 100 percent then you should always be satisfied with your result.”