The Eighth Page

Philipian Satire: Athlete of the Week ‘Life is Meaningless Without a Varsity Jacket’ Tucker Hayes ’19

Tucker Hayes ’19, from Wakefield, Mass. has been playing hockey for longer than he can remember. Having played for JV his Junior and Lower year, Hayes’ dedication to the sport finally paid off with a spot on Andover Boys Varsity Hockey’s third line this year. Already vital to the team’s dynamic, Hayes looks forward to informing more people of his prodigious talents. For his talents, Hayes has earned The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.

When did you start playing ice hockey?

I don’t even remember when I started playing. My mom showed me a picture of my first ultrasound, and sure enough, I’m holding my stick. I’ve never not been playing hockey. If I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming of hockey. If I’m eating, I’m making gains for hockey. If I’m studying, I’m just working hard enough to not get kicked off the team.  In my first childhood memory, I’m two years old, teething on a puck, curled up inside a helmet as my Dad rocks me to sleep, and he’s telling me a bedtime game plan. When I close my eyes, I can still hear him whispering “and the crowd went wild Tuck, they’re all cheering for you, you’re a beast, an ice monster.” Yeah, that was a beautiful moment.

How do you train in the off-season?

This is a stupid question. There are no off-seasons, and there’s no such thing as an in-season player. I play hockey four seasons, twelve months, and 365 days a year. I mean, I take the sport pretty seriously. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a whole lot of fun, but also requires a whole lot of dedication. Like most of the other real hockey players, my coach, Coach, and personal trainer, Alejandro, both live at my house. During the holidays, Alejandro wakes me up at 5:00 a.m., I run about nine miles, then skate with Coach until 2:00 p.m. Coach and Alejandro worked together to create this dope muscle development program — it involves intense lifting workouts, a diet plan modeled on Brady’s and sleeping in hyperbaric chambers. I also keep a daily journal about my life and how it all connects back to hockey. So yeah, that’s how I train during my on-season and non-playing season.

What does ice hockey mean to you?

To sum it up, everything. My life means absolutely nothing without my varsity jacket, the smell of blood on the ice after a long practice, the fans screaming my name. The immeasurable pride that comes with being able to say “I’m on hockey” is something that can never be replaced, you know? It’s a matter of respect and adoration. Even though we’ve been losing horribly this season, every game is packed. You can’t get enough! I can’t get enough!