Most nursing majors dream of changing someone’s life, but most probably don’t do so armored with hockey gear. Enter nursing sophomore Courtney Weeks, Texas State’s hockey goalie and the only woman on the team.
Inspired by The Mighty Ducks film franchise, Weeks knew she wanted to be an ice hockey player at a young age. She excelled in all the skills hockey required: balance, hand-eye coordination, stamina and toughness. Even though Weeks had plenty of experience, she said her high school coach’s prejudices derailed her from playing
“The junior varsity coach really liked me, but then we got a new coach and he was against women playing hockey,” Weeks said. “He would not let me play on the varsity team and I had to basically take my junior and senior year of high school off.”
The idea of playing on a team with 20 men may intimidate some but Weeks said she enjoys the competition. She describes the team as having fun chemistry and she credits her teammates with having great attitudes.
The Texas State Ice Hockey team places emphasis on academic performance, community leadership and standards of play. Weeks said she was looking for just this in a team.
“I’ve always worked hard; has always been my mentality,” Weeks said. “There is another goalie, so there is always a competition between goalies.”
Forward Scott Brownrigg, health and fitness management senior, said Weeks is critical to the team – on and off the ice.
“The team can count on her every time we need her to be consistently tough in net to doing everything we ask of her with no complaints,” Brownrigg said. “If we lose when she is in net, it’s because we messed up. A goaltender is the rock of the team, they need to stay strong when no one else is and Courtney does that for us.”
Business marketing sophomore Topher Harding said the team fosters’ a positive outlook on and off the ice.
“I’ve been on teams in the past where it’s been kind of cancerous in the locker room,” Harding said. “In this locker room, it’s all positive, even after a loss.”
Hockey team president Matt Hill said Week’s took over as the goalie when the starter suffered an injury.
“Our starting goalie was injured due to a broken collar bone. A college hockey team typically need two or three goalies, so being a backup goalie is one of the most important positions,” Hill said. “We would not be able to get through the season without Courtney.”
Since the team’s founding in 2011 by alumni TJ Wolling, the team has transitioned from the American Collegiate Hockey Association to the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference.
The Bobcats will be playing their next games Feb. 1 and 2 against the University of Texas at El Paseo Miners at the El Paso County Events Center in El Paso.