Thursday, May 23, 2013

Graduation Day

After playing his rookie season in Prince George, Jeremiah
Luedtke (14) chose to stay and graduate from here as well

A junior hockey team is made up of players that come from all over and the Spruce Kings are no exception. This past season there were players from Prince George, the Lower Mainland, Ontario, Newfoundland and from a few different spots in the United States. When the season ended, these players packed up their possessions and made the arduous journey for home to reconnect with family and friends - that is all but one did that.

Following his rookie season, Jeremiah Luedtke opted to stay in Prince George and finish his Grade 12 year at PGSS and graduate with his fellow classmates that he sat beside since the beginning of the year. Although this is not uncommon for players that come from an area considered to be in close proximity to Prince George; it is the first time that an American born player with the Spruce Kings has made such a difficult choice.

"I played away from home last year in Wenatchee," said Jeremiah Luedtke. "I've been in three different schools in the last three years. I have many friends in all three schools and I have a very special second family here in Prince George. My billet family has made it easy for me to stay."

Having gone through the American school system for all but his final year, Luedtke's decision was based on the very real concern that trying to pick up midway through a semester back home would be far more difficult and would potential impact his overall grades. Education is a key component of playing hockey for the Spruce Kings in the British Columbia Hockey League, most players make the conscious decision of playing hockey here with the prospect of turning their passion in to a scholarship.

"It was a tough decision," admits Luedtke. "I've been getting good grades here and that is very important for me wanting to get a scholarship."

"I talked to my counselors here and back home," continued Luedtke. "All of my credits will transfer so graduating in Canada or in the States doesn't change anything for me."

Jeremiah Luedtke will now don the cap and gown and walk across the stage to receive his dogwood and recognition of his completion of twelve years of education. He will do this in front of many new friends and his family that made the trip from Washington State to Prince George to be here for this special moment.

"Prince George feels like home to me," added Luedtke. "My entire experience this year with the Spruce Kings and living in Prince George has been a great one. Even though I have lots of family and friends back home, my family will be here and I also have my billet family which has been a second family for sure."