At the age of five, Jamie Calhoun, senior, learned how to skate. One year later, his hockey career began. While it seems crazy to trust a six-year-old with shoe blades and a big stick, Calhoun was eager to follow in his family’s footsteps.
“I was inspired to play hockey by my family,” Calhoun said. “Both my sisters played, and every winter my dad would build us a backyard hockey rink. All our time was spent out there, it brought our family so close.”
After leaving such a tight knit, ice-loving community back home for what will be Calhoun’s fourth year on FSC’s club hockey team, he can confirm that hockey isn’t second nature here.
“You can show up to a local park, or pond [in Canada] and play with complete strangers and the coolest part is everyone kind of knows the ground rules,” Calhoun said. “With hockey so new down here that overall sense of common ground isn’t really established.”
To change that, the team has attended pewee practices and skate lessons at the Lakeland Ice Arena- the Moc’s home turf- in previous years to get more children throughout the Lakeland area involved in the sport.
“Despite our team just being D3 club hockey, the little kids look up to you like you’re in the NHL,” Calhoun said. “It’s such an awesome experience giving back to them.”
While Calhoun has yet to step on the ice this year due to time commitments in professional water-skiing and the college’s own water-ski team, being a dual sport athlete has grown Calhoun’s appreciation for FSC athletics. He would like to thank both of his coaches on both teams for respecting his schedule, allowing him to continue both of the sports he loves.
Students can catch Calhoun at his season debut game against Tampa on Nov. 13 on Sunshine State Conference TV linked on the FSC Athletics website.