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Senior spotlight: Former Lincoln HS student eager to get back on the ice with the Wenatchee Wolves

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Updated: Jan. 4, 2021 at 6:10 PM PST
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HOLBROOK Ore. (KPTV) - A former Lincoln High School student made an elite hockey squad and moved away from home to further his professional dreams before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Connor Schuckmann was just another teenager skating through life, then came a life shift with the coronavirus.

“Obviously, we are always wearing masks. If we are caught without a mask, our team is screwed,” said Schuckmann.

The 17-year-old is a center for the Wenatchee Wolves - a feeder program for the Junior A Wenatchee Wild.

“We’ve had quite a few kids who have practiced and played for the Wild. It’s pretty cool,” Schuckmann said.

Being held accountable on his team and with his Billet family in central Washington, Schuckmann was home for the holidays in Holbrook where it all began.

“I started out playing on this hardwood floor right here with a makeshift little box as a net and a mini hockey stick and a little ball,” he said.

Schuckmann last laced up his skates last month for travel games in Texas and Arizona - far from his hometown first loves.

“I would just even crave to play with my dad and his buddies if I could,” said Schuckmann.

He spent his pre-pandemic junior year at Wenatchee High School. The would-be Lincoln High School senior is nearing graduation with Willamette Connections Academy.

“I am at my own pace, obviously, and being able to do your school wherever there is an internet connection so I can get as many classes as I can done. Whether I am at the rink at home or on the road at a tournament,” Schuckmann said. “I am actually graduating early because of them.”

Now it’s just home puck work in his family’s garage.

“I just loved it and never stopped loving it,” he said.

Prior to the coronavirus, Schuckmann coached grade school kids as well to grow the sport he has grown up in.

“It’s honestly really disappointing, not just for me, but all of these little kids out there,” said Schuckmann. “They need the opportunity to go out there and have exercise and not just sit on their butts playing video games.”

Schuckmann says he learned a big life lesson over the past 10 months of waiting.

“Honestly, staying in touch with your friends. That is a huge thing to keep me through this,” he said.

Checking in until checking back in on the ice.

“Something needs to change to get people out there doing more things, having fun with their friends,” Schuckmann said. “I just think that needs to change.”

If you know of any high school senior athletes who deserve some praise, reach out to Nick Krupke at Nick.Krupke@kptv.com or on social media via his Facebook pageTwitter or Instagram.