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Maddy Ferguson excelled this year at both hockey and academics

Posted on May 31, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
Commentator/Courier Photo Submitted. ACADEMIC SUCCESS: (Left) Maddy Ferguson (left) was the second top academic student at Eagle Butte High School and is standing with valedictorian Alyssa Jaeger.

By Samantha Johnson
Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Maddy Ferguson not only played on the South Alberta Hockey Academy (SAHA) U18 girls’ team as a goalie, spending each morning at the rink, but she also managed to be the second top academic student at Eagle Butte High School this year.

“I had no idea, honestly. Having to miss all that school because of games and not being here half the time, it definitely came as a surprise,” stated Ferguson. “It’s kind of cool to be part of the hockey academy and have that as one of the higher priorities in my life, but also to see my hard work in school pay off as well. As a female athlete, those academics are always more important because the sport doesn’t always take you as far so it’s important to be paying attention to your schoolwork,” stated Ferguson.

She began playing hockey at a young age as many of her family and extended family members play. Due to the great hockey program in Medicine Hat, Ferguson was able to improve her game and earned a spot in the Hockey Academy at Eagle Butte in Grade 10. “Playing here at the school, I’ve been very lucky and made lots of friendships, which is always nice and makes it easier to keep on,” explained Ferguson.

Graduating this year is bringing many changes for Ferguson and she’s still trying to decide what path she is going to take for her post-secondary education. Offers have been extended to her by schools in the USA to play hockey with them. Alternatively, Ferguson could choose to stay in Canada and focus only on academics. She intends to take a degree in exercise science and possibly complete a master’s in physiotherapy afterwards.

“It’s been awesome, being part of the hockey team. We are gone much of the time on road trips, and we don’t have much time to come in for extra help,” said Ferguson. “The teachers have been very accommodating, which has made this process of excelling at school much easier and able to be done.”

Hockey coach Jane Kish said Ferguson is a well-liked member of the team. “What she brings in the classroom, she brings to all areas of her life. Her work ethic, perseverance, hard work, and effort, that’s all very evident in what she does in school, on the ice and in the gym and is what makes her so successful,” stated Kish. “It’s really easy to like her as a coach.”

Being so smart, Kish says Ferguson is always the first to catch onto new concepts and ready with an answer to any question. Additionally, she has a great wit and can be very funny, throwing out comments that Kish said can catch one off guard.

When her teammates are struggling in any of their subjects, Ferguson is always the first to jump in and help. Kish said she is a leader and role model both on off the ice and she is thankful for that. “It’s good for our team going forward,” explained Kish. “She brought that, and someone will need to fill that role next year and it’s a big role to fill.”

The team had two Grade 12 goalies this year and there was a healthy competition between the two said Kish. Both are very personable with different playing styles and were able to vibe off each other, enabling both to grow as people and goalies.

“I think it was important for our players to see because you can be competitive, but then it’s also important to be collaborative and help each other out,” said Kish. “As a coach, I’m extremely proud of her. I wasn’t here for her first year, but for the past two years, how much time and effort she’s put into everything, I think she is seeing the rewards of those now. Whatever she chooses to do and wherever she chooses to go, they will love here there. We are going to miss her here, but I would say that everything comes to an end when it’s supposed to, and you carry one when you need to.”

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