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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State hockey club looking to make itself known among student body

At Texas State, the club hockey team is not very well-known throughout campus, but this year’s team wants to prove it is worth watching.
Luis Lopez, senior defender, has always enjoyed the sport and had a passion for the game.
“I’m from Laredo, and they had a pro team about 10 years ago and that’s how I got into it,” Lopez said. “I started playing in a youth league there and found out Texas State has a team and that’s how I got going here.”
Lopez has been able to master some of the hardest aspects of hockey that many might not think about when critiquing the sport.
“The hardest part of playing hockey is definitely the skating,” Lopez said. “You have to get that down and it’s obviously very important. It’s a physical and very demanding game on the body.”
Hockey also has a mental side that is almost as hard as the skating.
“Mentally, since it’s fast paced, you don’t have much time to think,” Lopez said. “And if you’re nervous you might get hurt if you take an extra second to think.”
Playing hockey for the Bobcats has not always been easy for Lopez.
“We had kind of a rough season this year, and it’s hard to keep guys interested when that happens,” Lopez said. “I just try to tell the guys to have fun with it.”
Lopez enjoys being a part of something bigger than himself, a member of the team.
“My favorite part is definitely playing with the team,” Lopez said. “We have a great group of guys and it’s a good team to be a part of. We are getting better every year and always looking for new players.”
Stephen Hagtis, head coach of the team, is also a huge factor in why Lopez has stayed committed to the team.
“He does a lot of extra stuff that he doesn’t need too, like providing us with extra supplies, gear and drinks,” Lopez said. “He gives us some structure, but doesn’t get mad at us if we try something new on the ice and gives us a lot of extra freedom.”
The team is not able to practice on campus like many other sports, so the Bobcats have found their own place to practice in Austin.
“My first year, we practiced in San Antonio where we played our home games,” Lopez said. “This past year, we played in Austin (at a place) called ‘The Pond.’ It’s actually a pretty nice rink, for sure a better set up than we had in San Antonio. The travel is kind of hard but the team carpools to make it easier.”
The team has countered the challenge of getting the student body’s attention with entertaining solutions.
“The drive is tough on the players, so I can imagine it being tough on the students that want to go support us, but we do occasionally get a lot of people that go,” Lopez said. “Sometimes we will even have party buses that run from San Marcos to Austin maybe twice a year and get a decent turnout. We even have a fraternity that comes out and hosts us. Everyone that I talk to says that they enjoy it whether we win or lose; they say it’s a fun game.”
The club hockey team is one of the lesser-known teams at Texas State, but the players want to show their skills in front of the student body.

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