Adam Kirsch makes a dream come true

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

By Rebekah Dyvig, special to the Tribune

It began in a basement with a hockey stick, a hockey puck, a young boy and his friends.

The young boy, Adam Kirsch, was in kindergarten when he decided he was going to play hockey.

Email newsletter signup

Adam and his friends practiced their slap shots in his parents&8217; basement.

&8220;I thought it was funny,&8221; said Adam’s mother, Jamie, with a laugh. &8220;They weren&8217;t even that old, but they all wanted great slap shots.&8221;

Playing hockey meant a lot to these young boys; they practiced every chance they got on ice rinks at local parks. It was Adam&8217;s friends who gave him the interest in hockey. His father did not play any sports while in school, but that did not mean Adam would not.

&8220;Hockey is my favorite sport,&8221; Adam said, &8220;but I am best at baseball.&8221;

He is looking for a college that has a hockey team.

Adam, a junior at Albert Lea High School, is a member of the Albert Lea Tigers junior varsity boys&8217; hockey team. At the beginning of hockey season, he spends around five to 10 hours a week on the ice practicing.

&8220;I play hockey because I like it,&8221; Adam said. &8220;It helps me stay active. The fun makes you forget about the work that is put into it. No one dislikes each other, and we are all pretty good friends.&8221;

It was a Thursday evening during the recent hockey season, and the junior varsity boys&8217; hockey game was about to begin. People took their seats. They cheered the players on when they needed a boost and praised them when they scored goals.

The players headed out on the rink to warm up. Dressed in cherry red and blue, with a Tiger face on the front of their shirts, they began playing with a bucket of pucks.

Jamie took a seat in the top row of the bleachers. She

only missed one of Adam&8217;s games this hockey season; it was three hours away. She always cheered Adam on throughout the game.

&8220;Hockey is fast-moving and fun to watch,&8221; she said. As she waited for the game to start, she joked about getting hung by her bright scarf on the pole above her head when she jumps up and cheers for Adam.

&8220;Adam, take the puck!&8221; Jamie yelled, as she saw the opposing team heading away with the puck. Adam quickly stuck out his hockey stick and stole the puck away from his opponent.

&8220;Skate with it, Adam!&8221; Jamie yelled again. All eyes were on the black hockey puck. The opposing varsity players sat in the bleachers watching the junior varsity, getting a feel for the Albert Lea team. The Albert Lea varsity stood watching the game, to see if they were good and would be hard to beat.

To be winners, Adam said, &8220;You need speed. You need to be fast. You need to be on the same page as the players you&8217;re playing with, work hard, and practice.&8221;

On the ice, the only thing on Adam&8217;s mind is the game they are playing; he doesn’t think about anything off the rink.

&8220;You get so focused and intense in the game, it kind of changes you,&8221; Adam said.

Off the ice, Adam is known as caring, always willing to help.

He puts others before himself and enjoys cracking a joke.

According to one of Adam&8217;s co-workers at Hy-Vee, Deb Mattick, &8220;Adam has a lot of respect for his elders and does his work.&8221;

Another Hy-Vee co-worker, Melissa Ewing, said, &8220;Adam goes out of his way to help others; especially with his height, it helps because he can reach the freezer light bulbs to change them, when us short people can&8217;t.&8221;

A storm in late February gave Adam another chance to help out others. He offered assistance to those he saw that were stuck in the snow and ice.

&8220;I&8217;m bigger than a storm,&8221; he said.

Adam didn&8217;t let any snow and ice keep him from watching the state hockey tournaments in St. Paul.

He wanted to see the varsity team in action; next year, he hopes to be on the ice with them.

When Adam goes down to his basement, he sees the puck marks on the walls and thinks about how far he&8217;s come. With a puck and a stick, he made his dream a reality. He plays hockey.

Age: 17

Address: 1005 Frank Ave.

Livelihood: high school student, Hy-Vee employee

Family: parents Sam and Jamie, sisters Amber and Lindsay

Interesting fact: When he was in sixth grade, Adam Kirsch nearly died from blastomycosis, a rare infectious disease caused by a fungus.