As the Moorhead Spuds wrap up one of their final practices at the Moorhead Sports Center this week, Ian Simonich sits in the scorekeeper’s box keeping time.
“Hockey has always just been a part of my life and I didn't really want to be away from it,” said Simonich.
This time of year the senior is trading in his golf clubs, for hockey sticks.
“It’s really funny because I go hit balls or practice in the morning and then I come to hockey practice, it’s pretty interesting,” said Simonich.
Simonich is a North Dakota State golf commit and is making his name known on the links throughout the area. He won the Pine to Palm Tournament last summer and was also named the 2019 Minnesota Junior Golfer of the Year. Ian’s other passion though is being at the rink.
“I’ve been around the game my whole life, I played through my sophomore year and then junior year is when I decided to hang it up and kind of focus on golf. All of these guys are my best friends. I have always been around the rink with them and I couldn’t do the whole winter without it,” said Simonich.
Even without lacing up the skates, Moorhead Head Coach Jon Ammerman knew that Ian could still make an impact on the team in a different role: team manager.
“They’re a part of our team just as much of any forward, or defenseman, or goaltender. This was the compromise, for him to still be a part of the program but him also to be able to go and compete in different regional and national tournaments in the golf circuit,” said Ammerman.
“Game days we do a lot of the getting ready with rosters. I do the live scoring for Minnesota Hockey Hub, and helping out with the guy who is doing video on the road games for them to watch film and stuff later,” said Simonich.
“It wasn’t really hard to put it away to be honest with you because I have always been with my friends and I’m just a normal high school kid who has happened to have success on the golf course, so I have always thought about it that way.,” Simonich added.
It’s the best of both worlds, as Ian now works to do his part in bringing back the first state hockey title to Moorhead.
“This year obviously has been really fun and kind of being able to do this as an underdog role and I hope we can continue that through the state tournament,” said Simonich.
The Spuds will take on third seeded Lakeville South at the Class AA State Tournament Thursday at 1:00 at the Xcel Energy Center.