Imagine driving an hour to and from a hockey practice on a dark snow-filled night. Now imagine doing that mutliple times per week. That is what high school hockey players from the communities of Howell, Hartland and Brighton had to endure to play the sport they loved.
That is, until someone had the idea to make a team for these towns.
It took nearly three years for the girls to get a hockey team to call their own. After a crazy, difficult process, Livingston United was formed. Head coach Doug Fowler took this uphill battle head on. He was dedicated to removing the long drive that many of these girls faced to make it to their travel hockey team's practices.
In their inaugural season this year, the team has faced adversity and received backlash from outside communities and even ice rinks. Clubs would tell Fowler that they wouldn't support his team and told him that they couldn't use their exercise equipment. People in communities often questioned why these girls even needed a varsity hockey team when many of these girls already played for a club team.
Fowler turned this problem into motivation for his girls. They have become stronger and more supportive of one another. When they enter the locker room, there is no Brighton, Hartland or Howell. There is only one team: Livingston United.
Not only do they unite their three schools through hockey, they also give back to the communities for their constant support. Each player engages in community service in all three communities. They also host a free skating clinic every Sunday for girls of all ages to come and learn about skating and the sport of hockey.
Fowler prides himself on seeing the program flourish. To him, the biggest accomplishment this season is seeing the girls come together and have fun. "This is more than hockey to them. It allows them to grow and become strong, independent and well-rounded student-athletes," said Fowler.
Remember to vote for your favorite students in winter sports, performing arts and clubs and organizations in the 4Frenzy Fan Choice Awards! Voting ends Feb. 19th.