The wheels on the bus go round the clock

Waking up to the obnoxious iPhone default ring, eyes squint shut hoping to ward off the nonexistent sunlight drifting in. Instead, moonlight has taken its place: the day has officially begun.

It’s time for practice. For the ice hockey team, that is.

Like most sports, ice hockey requires practice, practice, and yep, you guessed it, more practice. There is no doubt that it is a time-consuming activity, just like any other sport. However, unlike baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and field sports that Staples provides with the settings specific to the activity on school grounds, ice hockey players require a playing field that is a somewhat lengthy drive away.

Members of the girls’ ice hockey team have to wake up as early as 4:30 for 5:20 a.m. practices at a rink in Stamford, CT.

“The morning practices are definitely less appealing than the ones in the afternoon, that’s for sure, especially since we have a whole school day to get through afterwards,” said Meg Fay ’15, a member of the girls’ team. “I love being on the team and actually have a really fun time at the practices no matter what time it is, so for me it’s worth the drive.”

In comparison to the girls, the boys’ ice hockey team has an even further route: about a half hour bus ride to the Milford ice pavillion.

A typical day mapped out for the boys generally starts with the buses leaving the Staples parking lot at 3:00 pm, beginning practice at 4:30 and ending an hour later. After changing out of their hockey gear, players begin a practice that is followed by either a team meeting or a quick weightlifting session, and then the buses leave Milford at 6:30, arriving back in Westport around 7.

“I usually get home around 7:15, which is a lot later than any other sport I have played,” said JP McNicholas, ’14,  team captain. “Although it’s a long commute, being part of a team that has come together to play as a family is definitely worth any distance in my book.”

Jack Mendillo ’15, player for the boys team, agreed with his captain.

“At the end of the day, it just makes us so much closer as a whole,” he said. “No other team at Staples spends as much time commuting as we do.”