I was so proud of the Colorado Academy Ice Hockey Team as I watched them play in the 4A State Championship Game at Ball Arena on Tuesday night. It was sad to lose the game, but our players represented CA so well during the game and really, for the entire season. The work these boys put into getting to that point is so inspirational. For those new to CA, our Ice Hockey program is only five years old. The first year of the program, we were a sub-varsity-level team. A win was hard to come by. Looking back at photos of that first season, there were some phenomenal students, including some amazing girls, who all participated and laid the foundation for this year’s success. Our current Seniors deserve a lot of credit, as well, for their contributions and perseverance. They play because they love the game. Everyone sees it. And, these Seniors have set a tone for the program through their determination and commitment.
I know the players are deeply disappointed with the loss, but I hope the students can take a step back and reflect on what they accomplished. At CA, we focus on processes. If we do things right, great outcomes will follow. This team worked hard all season, both on the ice and in the weight room. They took their training seriously. We have a tremendous coach in Richie Nelson. After the game, Coach Nelson noted, “Life can’t be lived with regrets. It was the first time for CA Hockey on that stage. Hopefully, we learned what it takes to win because we have looked way better than what we showed tonight. I’m so proud of the boys. We have to look at the progress we have made! What a foundation these Seniors have built.” Athletic Director Bill Hall told the boys after the game that, despite their disappointment, they can’t let last night’s outcome define the season because they had so many incredible games and showed what great athletes they are.
They also inspired our whole community. There were more than 1,000 CA fans at Ball Arena, including alumni and parents of athletes who were on the team from five years ago. The student section—sitting opposite the CA parent section—was full of Upper Schoolers showing amazing support for the team. On the front rows of the parent section were dozens of Lower School students, oblivious of the score, as they were still cheering for the team late into the third period. When I walked down to talk to some of the kids, one student beamed, “Dr. Davis, I was on the jumbo screen! Have you been on TV?” The arena has a large screen that posts replays and captures the crowd. It felt like “the big time.” Middle School students knew the players and watched intently as the game went on. As Coach Nelson noted, “Seeing the future Mustangs cheering and soaking it up was very touching. During warm-ups, I had Davis Frankum toss one of the kids a puck, and the little kid was hugging the puck like it was an Oscar.”
I couldn’t be more proud of this team and of our school. Being all together in that arena made all of us more appreciative of our wonderful school community. Thank you.