Hockey players show literary skills at Lacy Elementary

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010
news@princetonherald.com


Photos by Wyndi Veigel
Britt Dougherty and Brandon Straub from the Allen Americans hockey team read to Laura Todd’s second grade class at Lacy Elementary.


Students from Todd's class pose for photos with the hockey players.

By Wyndi Veigel
Staff Writer

With the start of the Olympics, area students got to learn a little bit more about one winter sport that is not all that familiar to Texans – ice hockey.
 
The introduction of the Allen Americans semi-professional hockey team let students, staff and teachers get an up-close introduction to the sport and allowed students to learn that hockey players enjoy a good book just as much as the next person.
 
Brandon Straub, number 25, and Britt Dougherty, number 3, quizzed students at Lacy Elementary School on their hockey knowledge along with their “who-dun-it” theories as they took turns reading “Detective LaRue: Letters from the Investigation” by Mark Teague.
 
“Who is doing the cat burglaries?” Dougherty asked students, while showing off his secret talent of reading upside down.
 
As the students answered enthusiastically, “the cats,” Dougherty paused to entertain the idea with, “That’s an interesting theory.”
 
Both students and teachers alike were impressed with his ability to read upside down.
 
After finishing the book and figuring out the case based on clues, students had the opportunity to learn a bit more about the players, the Allen Americans and about hockey in general.
 
The players reviewed their stats – 32 games won and 10 lost – while talking about highsticking, getting slammed into the boards and falling on the ice to students.
 
“It’s awesome because we get to hang out and work with 20 of our friends,” Straub said.
 
Both hockey players began playing the sport when they about the age of the second-graders to whom they read, and both were recruited to play on the newly formed Allen Americans team.
 
The two players have not only had the adjustment of learning to play together on a new team but also adapting to Texas.
Straub is from Colorado while Dougherty is from Saskatchewan, Canada.
 
Though recently Texas has been similar to both with more ice and snow than usual, the players said it has been an adjustment.
“I miss my mountains,” Straub said.
 
“It is a lot colder in Canada,” Dougherty said, as the students paused to take in his Canadian accent. “We have about 6 feet of snow right now.” 
 
Dougherty also entertained students with his story about skating in his back yard when his family used to flood it with water and then let it freeze, though he learned to skate on an indoor rink, as did Straub.
 
The students also discussed the various jerseys the team has to wear since many of the students wore them to support the players.
 
“Our jerseys were ranked as the best looking in professional sports by the Hockey News,” Dougherty said. “All of our fans are part of our team.”
 
Ensuring the team would have many new fans, Straub and Dougherty gave out free tickets to the students.
 

Britt Dougherty and Brandon Straub from the Allen Americans read a book to a class at Lacy Elementary.
 

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