I have tried as hard as I can to forget about middle school. Sixth grade, the start of it all, was an incredibly awkward time of painful and uncomfortable memories. But one of the few good things I managed to find while struggling with my locker combination was Sidney Peters. Sid and I became friends and managed to stay friends through all of middle and high school.
Now the unfortunate thing about being friends with Sidney was that she could rarely hang out, because she always had hockey. Sid has been playing hockey since she was about 8, and is going to play goalie at Minnesota in the fall. For those who don’t know, the Minnesota women’s team hasn’t lost a game since February 2012, and it’s not likely that Sid will let them down.
See, while the Peters family lives in Geneva, Sid spent the last few months at the North American Hockey Academy in Vermont. The girls there lived in an old ski lodge, went to school in a doublewide trailer in the back, and traveled to play every weekend. Sid has played all over North America, and even went to the Czech Republic and Finland for under 18 world championships.
What all this means is that Sidney Peters is really, really good at hockey. For years now, I’ve been pestering her about playing in the Olympics. She said that 2018 will be the year after she graduates from Minnesota, and that if she does a good job for the Gophers, she’ll “hopefully have more opportunities to play for Team USA.” The fact is that, yes, she is an Olympic contender for 2018, and I couldn’t imagine a better person representing the U.S. on the world stage.
The remarkable thing about Sidney is that she is both extremely humble and an incredible optimist. You have to force answers out of her about rankings and statistics, and though she’ll talk your ear off about hockey, she’ll never brag. I must also say that Sidney is one of the happiest and nicest people I’ve ever met. I can’t imagine that anyone could ever dislike Sidney Peters, with her sarcastic-but-not-mean comments and tendency to fall down when she laughs too hard. If I played hockey, I would want Sidney on my team to both celebrate wins and deal with losses. She’s extremely passionate about her life on the ice, but at the same time, understands that sometimes things don’t go the way you want.
Sidney said that as a Christian, she works her hardest to use the gifts that God has given her. She also says that without her family, she wouldn’t be able to skate at the college or professional level.
Wherever Sid goes with this sport, I know that she’ll go with optimism and dignity, and an amazing ability to keep pucks clear of the goal. And she’ll always have the world’s most loyal fan base right here in Geneva.
Good luck, Sidney.
• Courtney Phelan recently graduated from Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.