Breaking the ice

Female hockey player skates to the top


Photo courtesy of the Flanigans

While battling it out on the ice, senior Brooke Flanigan plays a game for the Lady Jr. Lancers U19 team. Flanigan has to focus on many different aspects of the game as a left-wing. “The most challenging part of hockey is that there is so much going on and how fast it is moving,” Flanigan said. “You have to think about where the puck is, who is open, who you have to cover, where the open person is and what to do when you have the puck and what to do when you don’t have the puck.”

Brenna Batchelder, Arts & Entertainment Editor, Cartoonist

During sports seasons, scenes with turf and high school gymnasiums fill the minds of average people. However, for senior Brooke Flanigan, her season consists of frigid ice and the clattering of pucks.

Outside of her studies, Flanigan has been taking trips to ice rinks after school since the age of 7. After watching her older siblings participate in the excitement of hockey, the sport became more of a priority for her. Flanigan joined the Omaha Hockey Club and started playing as a young child with the assistance of her older siblings.

“When Brooke was young, she originally was not a huge fan of hockey,” older sister Kayla Flanigan said. “We didn’t force her to play the game, but later she wanted to try out the sport again after taking a year off. From that time on, she fell in love with the sport. I don’t think I did anything to help her enjoy the sport more, if anything she has helped me enjoy the game more. Having my younger sister by my side when I would go to the rink made hockey so much more fun.”

From practices on backyard ice rinks and even playing on the same line, the Flanigans have encouraged her growth as an athlete and as a person.

“Hockey has taught me the importance of working together as a team,” Flanigan said. “It is not about one player, it is about everyone working together for a common goal. I’ve learned the importance of always working hard and giving it your all. I’ve learned how important it is to always give positive feedback to your teammates and to always have fun.”

Though there are many perks that come with the sport, it does come with its challenges and commitments. Long games, practices and car rides fill up Flanigan’s schedule. While playing for the Lady Jr. Lancers U19 team on the left wing, she travels with her team to various places within the United States such as Denver and Texas, and even out of the county to Canada for tournaments.

“Travel hockey requires a lot of time and commitment from both the athlete and the parents,” mother Rhonda Flanigan said. “We have spent many long hours in the car taking Brooke to her practices and tournaments out of town. Many weekends are spent in hotel rooms across the United States, but we wouldn’t change it for the world. Spending time with Brooke and seeing her grow and flourish has been incredible.”

The cost of the sport proves to be worthwhile as Flanigan develops as an athlete, student and person. She hopes to pursue hockey and follow her older sister to Midland University.