Stars Hockey Team Looks To Ice Competition


Daria Khajavi

A UCI North player attempts to shoot a goal.

Max Torres, Online Sports Editor

Hockey is a very interesting sport, one of the reasons being its extreme physicality. Many hockey players would compare their sport to football’s impact on the body. Although this may be true, the players don’t allow it to bring them down. They play their hearts out and have a great time doing it. 

Although hockey may be fun to watch, the players get quite the beating. From crashing into the walls surrounding the rink to slamming into the solid ice underneath their skates, many bruises can be found after games. Hockey is extremely related to football in that sense, as Stars player Zach Levy would like to point out. The amount of bodily contact and work that is put into hockey equals that of football.

“Football is probably harder on my body, with being hit and tiring myself out. But hockey definitely still requires at least the same amount of stress on the body. Because of the ice and hard walls,” Levy said. 

Having played football himself during highschool, Levy knows the amount of work that goes into it because he went through it himself. Hard hits are one thing, but adding the hard surfaces around them and the time spent playing, many can argue that hockey has the upper hand in this argument. 

Either way, both sports can easily say they aren’t for the faint of heart.

Highland sports have always been a huge part of who the Rams are, whether its football, basketball, soccer, and more. But some sports go under the radar even if they are popular in the world aspect. Boy’s Hockey is one of those sports. Highland doesn’t have a school-specific team due to the lack of players, but there is a regional hockey team that features a handful of students from Highland, and this is where Levy plays.

This team is the Salt Lake Stars, which is a Division 1 team in the Utah High School Hockey League ( UHSH ). The boundaries for this team extend all over the valley, and it includes schools such as Highland, Olympus, West, Judge, Hillcrest, Jordan, Cottonwood, and Waterford. While there are many teams in the league, The Salt Lake Stars is one of the only ones who have representatives from multiple schools. This is what makes it such a unique, interesting, and talented squad. This team has used its skills to win the last two State Championships. 

One of the main reasons that hockey doesn’t have the same amount of popularity is because of its low number of players. While other sports like football and soccer have many students who try out and watch the games, hockey is less noticeable because Highland does not have a Highland team. This causes the students at school to not realize their peers are members of this team, and they can’t support or see the team in action. This can be frustrating for the players because of the lack of support from friends and peers. 

If more and more people from Highland were aware of the hockey players, and choose to go to games and let them know they care, the members of the team would feel a lot better about the situation. 

While there are a few troubles with the team in that regard, the number of good things far outnumber those of the bad. The Stars are superb on the ice, having won so many state championships in the last few years. 

Bauer Kuemmel, a player on the Stars, wants everyone to know of his team’s success.

 “We represent Highland, we’ve won four out of the last five state titles,” Kuemmel said.

Those kinds of numbers would put the Stars near the top of Highland’s performing sports teams, and more students should recognize that accomplishment.

Moving on from the actual physical capabilities of hockey, both Levy and Kuemmel explained that this team and sport was one of the most friendly and close-knit of any they have played. Especially because of the high number of students that attend Highland with them. Levy and Kuemmel play with Issac Brickey and Jack Kuemmel, both seniors at Highland. The players and coaches have developed a bond and relationship that has become very strong, making the team’s playing improve greatly. 

“This is probably the most family atmosphere that I’ve had playing sports, especially concerning hockey since I began playing for the Stars,” Levy proudly said.

The Star’s ability to play as close friends is one of the reasons for their large number of wins. 

And while these wins do mean a lot to the hockey team, it would mean so much more if they got the attention they deserved from their friends at school. Being able to see the reactions of their peers and talking about the Star’s accomplishments would mean the world to the players. Letting students from Highland learn a little about the sport and this team would make a difference in the amount of popularity these players get. 

When the UHSH playoffs begin, most of the games will be played at Steiner Hockey Rink. This is where students can go to see games leading up to the Championship, and the State Championship itself. Bringing the support of Highland to these games will be a kind gesture of our notice and attempt to show the love of Highland.