The school year can be tough on any student, but students who are also involved in sports have a much bigger challenge.

Ellie Dolesy, a Junior at Black River Falls High School has been challenged this school year. While maintaining a 3.5 GPA and taking challenging classes in preparation for college. Ellie works part time at the local K9 Country Lodge, Ellie is also a hockey player for not only the Black River Falls girls hockey team, but also participates in travel hockey teams. Playing with the Wisconsin Selects before and after her regular hockey season caused Dolesy to miss an abundance of school.

“Practices can take me all over the state. I’ve practiced in Stevens Point, Fond du Lac and Wausau. My games have been in Madison, Milwaukee, Waupun and Green Bay,” said Dolesy.

Practices and games take her all over the state of Wisconsin, but she has traveled much further for tournaments.  

“I had a couple tournaments in Chicago, one in South Dakota, St. Louis,  and my team qualified for Nationals in Buffalo, New York,” said Ellie.

Being involved with travel hockey has caused her to make many sacrifices and miss important events such as homecoming, when she was in South Dakota.

“When we were in South Dakota, my teammates and I all had to miss our homecoming. So we went to Goodwill and bought costumes and had our own homecoming at the hotel. It was really fun, but I still missed being at homecoming with my friends in Black River.”

Missing a lot of school and being extremely busy has caused Ellie to become creative in keeping up with her school work.

“For long car rides my mom got wifi in her car. I also used wifi on the plane rides and in the hotels. It also helped because my team would have study dates in the hotels so we could all stay caught up,” said Ellie.

Ellie has had to stay in constant contact with her teachers, Mr. Stalheim, and attendance secretary Daisy Gerdes.

“I have to make sure I talk to my teachers before I leave and tell them how long I’m going to be gone for so they can tell me what I’ll have to make up when I get back or do while I’m gone. I feel like I miss a test every time I am gone. it’s hard to keep up with the studying,” said Dolesy.  

Nationals were the first week in April and lasted an entire week. Ellie was able to take the ACT on March 12, but during Nationals missed the Work Keys test given to juniors.

“I really have to take advantage of the time that I’m given to study, especially for my AP classes,” said Ellie.

Ellie has missed around 30 full school days due to her intense hockey schedule. Now that hockey is finished for this school year she plans to focus on school to maintain a good GPA.

“Even though it’s hard to keep my grades up it’s worth it for all of the experiences that I’ve had and all of the friendships I’ve made,” said Dolesy.