Brothers on and off the ice

May 13, 2013


Hammad Afzal/Legacy Media

Tristan and Taylor Weinholzer gear up for the district ice hockey team.

Twenty-one boys take the ice at the Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex. Players take advantage of the five minute warm-up time allotted, feeding off the energy from the stands. Two jerseys with the name Weinholzer make their way into the lights, one padded and ready to defend the net, and the other laced up and ready to defend the puck.

Sophomore Tristan Weinholzer and freshman Taylor Weinholzer started playing hockey at a young age, thanks to their father who loved hockey as a boy and exposed his sons to the sport. Both boys joined the Klein Ice Hockey Varsity team as freshmen, a compilation of players from district high schools, as well as private schools.

“Since the team is made up of so many different schools, it strengthens the competition as well as gives players an opportunity to play alongside people they wouldn’t get the chance to otherwise,” Tristan Weinholzer said. “It’s really great to have someone on the team that always has your back and understands you. There’s not one disadvantage to playing with my brother, I try to mentor him as a freshman playing at Varsity level and having blood on the ice in times of victory and loss is indescribable.”

Parents Allyson and Scott Weinholzer recall days when their sons played on different teams and even though they would be happy to make a trip in two different directions, Scott Weinholzer said he appreciates the convenience of the boys playing on the same team, at the same rink, at the same time, in the same city. The parents share their sons love for hockey and support both boys by driving to every practice and game, paying for equipment and multiple team fees. As well as washing a great deal of gear.

“We know the boys have got to get out of Texas to actually be something in hockey, and we want that for them,” Allyson Weinholzer said. “Hockey in Texas is just so different from up north, where it’s their football because they actually have a winter. The kids there don’t just play the sport; they live it because it’s truly a part of their culture.”

Although in the north, hockey is a more popular sport and players get more opportunities to perfect their mechanical skills, Tristan Weinholzer believes that the mental aspects of hockey will always shine through as his favorite.

“Since I’m the goalie, I’m one position on my own, the backbone of the team,” he said. “I have to be able to stay humble when playing great and then being able to bounce back after being scored on or having a tough game. I can’t focus on a loss, I can only look forward to another game. Not only do players have to know the game, they have to understand it and be a student of it, and commit to it.”

Taylor Weinholzer considers hockey a fairly challenging sport, admitting that it takes more talent and elite skills than most other sports to be successful because the players not only have to be able to handle the puck with a stick, but they must do so while skating on ice.

“Every single player must have heart and determination, they have to show up to every practice and game willing to give no less than 100 percent, no matter what that means,” assistant coach and hockey parent Geoff Lussier said. “Players must have mental toughness and be able to outsmart their opponent at every drop of the puck. They must have drive and passion, always ready to work hard.”

Junior Natalie Day, who lives next door to the boys, recollects many instances where she has heard her neighbors yelling in the driveway, only to look out her window and find a makeshift hockey rink set up and the Weinholzer family enjoying each other’s company in the sport.

“Every time I go to watch their cats, I walk into the garage and I’m immediately flooded with hockey equipment,” she said. “I’m not sure if they hoard it, if they’re obsessed, or if it’s totally necessary to have so much. Either way, the entire family has enthusiasm for the sport.”

The brothers plan to continue hockey through high school and plan to stick with the sport even after their school days.

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