Skates, sticks and serotonin: What hockey does for DelRe


Siobhan O'Connor

DelRe plays as a wing for an independent team, the Chicago Bruins, and she is constantly traveling to different games and tournaments across the country.

Claire Valenti, Sports Editor

Senior Kylie DelRe’s teammate passes the puck to her from behind the net, she crosses the blue line on a breakaway, she slaps a one-timer to the top right of the goal and she scores. DelRe plays wing for the Chicago Bruins hockey club. She considers hockey to be one of the biggest parts of her life, so much so, she has committed to playing at Central Michigan University.

DelRe wanted to find a way to continue playing hockey in college while also working toward her degree in athletic training.

“I mainly chose Central Michigan because it’ll offer me the best education for my intended major,” DelRe said. “The hockey piece is a great bonus because the team is wonderful, the coach is a great guy and all of them are incredibly dedicated to the game. After working on this [college] process for 10 months I’m so glad I landed here; I feel extremely confident with my decision because in the end CMU is where I fit most.”

DelRe was 11 years old when she decided she wanted to play hockey. After watching it for years and growing tired of dance, she wanted to learn everything she needed to know in order to give hockey a chance.

“None of the other sports really appealed to me, but I had been watching hockey for a long time and it just intrigued me. I just decided I’d be willing to try it,” DelRe said. “… my mom [reminded me] I didn’t know how to ice skate, [but] I wanted to try lessons and go for it.”

Since DelRe plays on a travel team, she’s often on the road. With needing to travel a lot in order to play at games and tournaments, she often finds herself doing school work in many different places. DelRe pushes herself in order to maintain a balance between school and sport.

“… I think [my school and life balance] is different because [my team] is not a school organized club, it’s travel. The traveling definitely takes a toll [on me] because it’s hard to do work while I’m in another state,” DelRe said. “I just take it a day at a time because if I look too far ahead then I overwhelm myself.”

DelRe’s ability to balance school and hockey is something that her family respects about her. Mother Debbi DelRe recognizes the skills she’s picked up from working through and finding her medium.

None of the other sports really appealed to me, but I had been watching hockey for a long time and it just intrigued me. I just decided I’d be willing to try it.”

— Kylie DelRe

“I don’t worry about her going off to college next year and not being able to manage her time. She did it all on her own, she’s very driven and very self-motivated because she wants to get to hockey practice,” she said. “[Hockey] has taught her really good time management and it’s taught her balance.”

DelRe has been playing hockey for the past seven years, and her mother has been observing her growth as she continues to play each season. With each passing year, she notices DelRe continues to learn and grow within herself and alongside her teammates.

“… when she started playing with these girls who had been playing much longer than she had, she had to step up and be her best and it really taught her how to be a leader. Kylie doesn’t seek out to be popular, she just has a presence with her peers and I can see that just because she’s very kind, accepting and she’s super supportive of her teammates. Good or bad, she’s always on the bench every game cheering them on,” she said.

With hockey being a permanent fixture of DelRe’s life, she’s made friends in different places because of it. Senior and friend Ashley O’Connor has played with her in exhibitions and she admires DelRe’s game.

“We did a few hockey camps together and that’s most of the time I have playing actual games or scrimmages with her, but we’ve played together casually Central Michigan University and it’s been very, very fun. She’s really quick on the ice, knows how to handle the puck really well and always really good at positioning; [she’s] just overall really fun to play with,” O’Connor said.

She has known DelRe since middle school, and the time that they have played together is something O’Connor holds in a high regard.

Kylie DelRe

“She’s just really fun to be around and play with; [with] just the vibe that she gives off as well as her being a phenomenal player,” O’Connor said. “Not even just in regards to hockey but just in general she’s helped me so much throughout my life. When I didn’t really have any she was just right there for me and I can never thank her enough for that.”

Next winter, you can see her play for Central Michigan University.