By Brittnie Curtis
The Texas State Ice Hockey team began in 2011 with a handful of students who wore practice jerseys and played with a very select budget. With a few of the founding players still on the team, it has grown to more than 15 players. The team, a registered sports club, is classified in the Western Region of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA)-Division II with more than 200 other teams.
Most of the players on the team have been playing hockey since they were little kids. Myles Adair, the team’s president, remembers the day his interest in hockey began.
“My dad was in the coast guard before I was born,” Adair says. “He was stationed up north near Lake Erie and hockey’s as popular up there as football is down here. He fell in love with it around the 1980’s Olympic times, so around the Miracle on Ice times. When I was about four years old, my dad was driving by an ice rink and he pointed to it asking me if I wanted to try. He said I got really excited and so the next day I went and started skate school.”
Soon after Adair took up skating, he began playing house hockey. By the time he was eight years old, he was playing travel hockey. Travel hockey, like any other serious sports club, is a competitive team for which players must try out and be selected by the coach. Ever since then, Adair has had practices three times a week and played in games on the weekends.
Adair joined the Texas State team in 2012 after playing hockey at the University of Colorado. As president of the team, one of Adair’s responsibilities includes scheduling the games.
“It’s really up to the discretion of the team and other teams who offer to schedule with you what trips you want to take,” Adair says. “Other than the Texas schools, you want to stick to playing the teams close to you because of travel expenses and stuff like that. We really want to try to grow the state as far as college hockey goes. So this year we scheduled a game with a brand new team from The University of Texas at Arlington to help them out and get them going. We’re actually playing Texas Tech this year, which has had a team for a while, but we’re just now playing them. It really just varies year to year.”Texas State’s biggest rivalries are UT and A&M, which has had the best team in Texas for a while, and is consistently the one to make it to regional out of the Texas teams. The Texas State team recently made history by beating A&M for the first time in the team’s history. It was also the first time A&M had ever lost at home in a conference game.
The Texas State hockey team relies on their sponsors and fans for support. While Texas State does allocate funds to the team for being a club sport, Adair says it’s not enough.
“We make up for it by having players pay dues,” Adair says. “Hockey is pretty expensive in itself and sponsorship is pretty important. I’m trying to grow relationships and get people to work with us for years to come. We can offer sponsors cheap advertisement in return of donations. It all helps for ice time, equipment, travel, hotels and everything else. It’s about $350 per hour for ice time and we practice twice a week, so it’s very expensive and it adds up very quickly.”
If you’re interested in joining the team, you’re in luck! They will be taking about five or six players for the spring semester. Just keep track of the website and be looking for tryout dates for the spring semester. Keep in mind that the team plays full contact ACHA Hockey. Adair stresses that some experience within the sport is very important.
The team’s next game will be against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the Northwoods Ice & Golf Center in San Antonio this weekend. Follow the team on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with their progress!