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Editorial

Casper's Young Athletes


Justin and Jeremy Solko



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03/01/2007 - "I consider the boys to be such a blessing," says Michelle Solko of her sons Justin (10) and Jeremy (8) Solko. "I believe that kids constantly remind us of what is important in life."

Both Justin and Jeremy play hockey for the Casper Oilers and agree that their favorite thing about hockey is the fun they have playing with their teammates. With no extended family in town, the team has become a sort of "hockey family" with much comeradery.

"It's a pleasure for me to see both boys enjoying the same sport, playing different positions and bringing their own identity to the game of hockey," says Dave, the boys father who is also the assistant coach to their team.

Justin and Jeremy have traveled all over the state and sometimes to Colorado with the hockey team, but what we think it's safe to say they like it here in Casper best. The Solko boys both love hiking on Casper mountain and played soccer for the Casper Youth Soccer League.

Justin and Jeremy make the effort to take hockey beyond the sport and apply the principles to every day life.

"There's so much more to hockey than what we see," says Michelle. "It's very skill-based -- not a rough mean sport."

Here are some of the valuable lessons the Solkos wanted to share with us:

-- Discipline: It's important to learn the rules and follow them. A valuable lesson to know not just for hockey.

-- Value of time management and priotitizing: School and learning come before hockey. If the required work isn't done they don't play!

-- Consequences: If they lose or damage of their gear they buy their own replacement.

-- Responsibility: Both boys must take care of their hockey gear, be on time, packing up their hockey bag to bring to the rink, getting ready (parents help with gatting skates tied tight) and then unpacking their bags to air out the gear after games and practices.

-- Self-control: The nature of the sport lends itself to self-control or lots of time is spent in the penalty box! Hockey teaches the boys to evaluate decisions, not just react!

-- Perseverance: One of their favorite quotes from the Bible is "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." This sport is not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging as well and Justin and Jeremy love a challenge!! They feel that hockey encourages them to not give up.

-- Teamwork: Hockey is a team sport, not about just one person. Everyone is equally important to the game of hockey and must work together to accomplish a "goal"!

-- Good Sportsmanship: How to be a good loser as well as a gracious winner.

-- Respect: For self and others.

Thanks Justin and Jeremy, for going the extra mile as you develop these skills! Our Town Casper is cheering you on!

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