Each year, seniors and postgraduates at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
Family. This word can be defined in many different ways. For me, family is everything.
Having a father in the hockey business, I fell in love with the game right away due to the fact that my dad’s players often stayed at our house. To me, these players were just regular people. I didn’t understand they were celebrities, with people seeking their autographs or wanting their pictures taken with them in public. Instead, I paid attention to how these players actually lived their lives, and this inspired me.
I remember vividly John Tavares making protein shakes after workouts at our house and watching him taking care of what he eats, or Nathan MacKinnon shooting pucks in my backyard all day. They were just people to me, doing what they love because they had such a passion for it. It felt like they were my older brothers. I didn’t even realize I was looking up to them.
Being an older brother myself these experiences showed me how important it is to be a good role model for my younger brother Jordie. When we were younger, Jordie and I were best friends. We did almost everything together. Whether it was going to the beach or ding dong ditching around our neighborhood, we laughed about everything. No matter what we did, we had fun doing it. Even when we got in trouble with our neighbors or our parents, everything was worth it. I don’t see Jordie as much as I would like sometimes because I have been away here at Shattuck for three years.
Growing up, a ten-minute drive with my mom often turned into a twenty-minute drive. I’d feel like a tourist because of how many times she stopped to take pictures or look at the sunset. She wants me to stop and smell the roses at times, too. She taught me at a young age to appreciate life and the little things that it has to offer.
Making the decision to go play hockey at Shattuck, it was hard for me to think that I would be leaving my family. The first time I drove under the Arch, I had goosebumps and all of my nervousness just went away. I can’t imagine that I would be the player I am today if it was not for Shattuck. The past three years here not only helped me develop as a player but gave me friendships that are going to last a lifetime. This year especially has been by far the most fun I have ever had during a season with my teammates. Playing on a team where everybody is so close makes it hard to lose. We play as a family, and this is why we have a special team that could do what no other Shattuck prep team has done in many years.
I never would have thought that leaving my own family in California I would find a second family in a Faribault, Minnesota. I want to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to come to Shattuck, and to my teammates, let’s get this bread!