Hockey is the newest club at Webster University, and it’s all thanks to the efforts of two boys who could not stay off the ice. Sophomores Ryan McBride and Jordan Hageman have been playing hockey since around the age of 10. Although both have different hockey upbringings, the friends shared a common ambition to bring their passion for the sport to the university.
The Hockey Club is now an official club with 17 members recognized by the Student Government Association (SGA). Although they became a recognized club this spring, the club will not start play until next fall. Because they became a recognized club after budget proposals were due, they are not eligible for funds until next semester.
Without money, Hockey Club cannot begin, because they cannot afford to play anywhere. Hockey Club Cofounder Hageman said on average, ice time on a rink is $200 an hour.
SGA President Katie Maxwell explained Hockey Club, along with all other unfunded Webster clubs, cannot submit an allocation fund request. The allocation fund is intended for use only when clubs are running out of funding for the semester.
McBride, club cofounder, will be studying abroad in Geneva next fall, meaning he will not get to see his own club begin.
“I won’t even be here, so that kind of ticked me off. But in a year from now I’ll be playing again,” McBride said.
Passion for the Puck
Although money is tight, McBride and Hageman’s passion for hockey is a driving force in making the Webster Hockey Club a reality.
Hageman grew up playing hockey on a subdivision pond with neighborhood buddies in Hamilton Meadow and the Summer Chase area. Although he was on the football, water polo and basketball teams, Hageman never felt good enough to play on a high school hockey team. The club will give him the chance to skate somewhere other than a pond.
“Really, I wanted to take it a little more seriously and play more hockey on an actual rink,” Hageman said.
McBride’s interest in hockey started at age 10, when he went to a hockey camp called “Learn2Skate” at Chesterfield Rink. He continued to play hockey in high school for the Eureka Wildcats.
He said he was a natural on ice, which shocked his mom. McBride said when he was growing up, his mom didn’t like hockey. She’d say, “What’s the point? You can’t even see the puck.” The first time she saw Ryan play hockey, she expected him to fall and give up. Now, McBride said his mom is the biggest hockey fan ever.
“She was like, ‘Oh no, this is going to be a thing now,’” McBride said.
For now, Hockey Club can reserve space at the university free of charge. The hockey club plans to raise funds as much as possible and work on getting discounts at the Webster Groves and Kirkwood ice rinks. Without a discount, McBride said the club could only afford to play seven games a semester.
McBride plans to come back next spring to find the club going strong. Then he will finally get his chance to play hockey.
“Hopefully in a couple years or when I’m gone I can leave behind a legacy and we can start to make an official team,” McBride said.