Jason Murphy learns about life through ice hockey

Before winter sports season begin, sophomore captain Jason Murphy learns to balance a hectic school schedule with preparation for a competitive season while playing for the Seattle Junior Hockey Association.


Tam Tran

Sophomore Jason Murphy follows the puck and posts face off at Olympicview Arena on Dec. 7, 2019 against Cloverdale. Photo by Tammi Tran

Tam Tran, A&E Editor

Before winter sports season begin, sophomore captain Jason Murphy learns to balance a hectic school schedule with preparation for a competitive season while playing for the Seattle Junior Hockey Association. Murphy said he struggles to balance his life on the ice, his social life and his academic life during the hockey season.


One aspect of Murphy’s commitment is a weekly drive to Canada. 


“I won’t get home until in between two or three o’clock in the morning, and having to go to school the next day is hard,” Murphy said. 


His busy schedule begins in August with long practices. With games starting in September, Murphy said it adds to the stress of school. Being captain makes the situation even tougher. 


“You always have to be the one that keeps the other guys going. . . sometimes it can get a little hard, but it’s a great position to be in,” Murphy said. 


Murphy said this is the hardest part about making time to do school work in his schedule. His tight schedule allows him only two days off a week, with hockey taking up at least eight hours of his week—not including travel time. He said it’s especially difficult for his parents. 


“It’s a big commitment for them with their work schedules,” Murphy said. “I’m very thankful for them and grateful that they do that.” 


Murphy said it’s frustrating when he misses school social events like football games or homecoming dances. Most of the time, he is on his way to Canada preparing for another tournament. 


“Hockey has impacted a lot—not being able to do school work outside of school,” Murphy said. “You have to be there—at practices, games or team events no matter what.”


Through years of commitment and practice, Murphy said his favorite memory was when he was 14 years old; team won the LA Tinseltown President’s Challenge, a big accomplishment. He said he scored three goals in that game, earning his team a chance to beat the scoreboard. 


“I’ve only been playing with him for a year, but he’s a really good player and is also a great role model,” sophomore defense Owen Henson said. “He scores most of our goals.” 


By starting hockey at the age of three, Murphy said he found himself learning a lot of basic essential skills that he took in at an early stage in his life. He said they were obvious lessons, but valuable toward his own aspirations in life. 


“It’s actually taught me a lot of life lessons,” Murphy said. “To not ever give up, obviously, and to push through your struggles.”  


Both Murphy and Henson said they enjoy the environment of the current team they play on, especially with the group of boys they play with. From playing video games in hotel rooms the night before a tournament to singing along with their favorite songs on roadtrips, Murphy said he loves bonding with his team over things other than hockey. 


“The team bonds during tournaments. The team that I am on right now is really good,” Murphy said. “They’re a great group of guys.”


After highschool, Murphy does not plan on pursuing a hockey career, but he is proud to say that he has learned a lot. 

“I hope to take my experience and knowledge [from hockey] and shift it over to what I do after,” Murphy said. 


Before every game, Murphy said he makes sure his team is focused and confident before they begin to play. Henson said this is one of the many qualities that make Murphy such a good leader. 

“He’s a good leader. He gets us ready for games,” Henson said. “He gets us hyped up with his speeches. Jason’s definitely a great role model.” 


As captain, Murphy said he tries his best to create a strong and positive atmosphere for his team. Though he struggles with his schedule, Murphy said it’s rewarding to be part of such a great hockey team. 


“I put a lot of time and effort into hockey, and yes, it’s hard, but the boys and I are like family,” Murphy said. “Hockey is a learning experience.”