The Student Newspaper of Oxford Academy

The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Breaking the ice with OA’s star hockey players

Oxford Hockey: Sophomore Enoch Oh plays hockey for Servite High School. Oxford sophomore Jesse Hamrick plays for Villa Park High School. CIF rules allow players to compete for other schools if their own school does not offer a particular sports program. (Tyler Nguyen)

Junior Olivia Kang and sophomores Enoch Oh and Jesse Hamrick spend vast hours on ice to master one sport: hockey. Playing for the Lady Ducks, Servite High School, and Villa Park respectively, these three star athletes practice daily in hopes of playing at the NCAA level in the future.

Going into her sixth year of playing hockey, Oliva Kang has always loved being on the ice. Having skated for a total of thirteen years, she finds the ice relaxing and expanded into playing for a tier 1 team, the Lady Ducks, after working hard her first hockey season.

“I love the environment of a team sport, especially since I meet such a variety of new people and am able to extend my social circle past school,” Kang said. “Being at a game is an exhilarating experience because it’s easy to get wrapped up in cheering or being at the center of the competition and speed, and it’s even more fun sharing that experience with people who love the sport as well.”

The biggest lesson Kang has learned through her dedication to hockey is to be flexible in terms of the game. In such a fast paced sport there is little to no time to worry about past mistakes and she had learned to push herself to further improve after errors.

Junior Olivia Kang plays hockey for the Anaheim Lady Ducks.

“I wasn’t the best player by a long shot, and barely played,” Kang said. “My coach said I wasn’t taking it seriously, and threatened to kick me off the team by December. It got in my head for a while and made me really rethink what hockey meant to me and what I wanted to do with it.”

Her greatest accomplishment, Kang was able to prove her spot on the team and worked hard to move from third to first line, working her way up to the starting line up. She remains amazed at the intense dedication and time she was able to put into the sport and hopes to continue to apply this skill to other aspects of hockey and beyond.

Similarly dedicated to his love for the ice, Jesse Hamrick knows the puck and pads as well as he knows the alphabet, as he has played for nearly 10 years by his sophomore year.

“I came [downstairs to] my dad watching a game and I told him I wanted to try it, and he was like, ‘alright.’ So, he signed me up for classes and I kind of fell in love with it,” Hamrick said.

Playing for Villa park, Hamrick frequently travels out of state, especially to Chicago, to play in high stakes tournaments. He enjoys every minute on the ice, whether it be through tough physical contact or the mental, playmaking aspects of the game. The rink is his place to spend time with friends and to release stress from school. For Hamrick, hockey has always been about keeping cool in stressful moments, helping him respectively in life outside the rink, too.

“If you get put out on the first shift of the game, you’re gonna be really nervous,” Hamrick said. “But, right when I start playing, I kinda forget about [the stakes] and get into a flow state.”

On the contrary, for Enoch Oh, hockey was only one of the many sports of his childhood. 

“Baseball was way too hot. Soccer I just didn’t like. But when I got into hockey, I really enjoyed myself,” Oh said. “I’ve been playing for eight years now.” 

Ever since he started playing, Oh has always been the team leader model and enjoys making fast-paced stickhandling plays. Currently, he competes for the Servite Friars, a division one school for hockey in Anaheim. In the past Oh played for the AAA Kings, where he made his biggest career accomplishment of winning state finals with his teammates. As for his 2024 goal, his ambitions are very simple.

“I really want to keep having fun, that’s all,” Oh said.  “Maybe I’ll get into juniors in a few years, but for now, I need to keep working hard.”

For such talented players, skating into college play isn’t out of the picture. Hamrick and Oh hope to one day play for an NCAA college like Harvard or USC while Kang is considering playing past high school though her main goal is to continue improving as much as possible while hockey is present in her life. First, they must keep adding wins under their belts and potentially move up to a higher junior division to gain recognition. 

Regardless of what the future has in store for these star athletes, hockey has already given them plenty of memories and values that they can translate into wherever they go.

“Not everything’s gonna go your way in hockey and you really have to learn how to keep a cool head,” said Oh. “It’s a great starting pathway for other areas of your life, not just higher leagues.”

About the Contributors
Zoharys Jaen, Lifestyle Editor

Dedicated, hardworking, aggressively extroverted, and perhaps optimistic to a detriment, Zoharys Jaen is in her Senior year at Oxford and has been a member of Gamut staff since the 9th grade. First joining due to encouragement from her English teacher Ms. Galvan,  along with being interested in a chance for her work to be published and printed, she now serves as Gamuts Lifestyle editor. Though looking to constantly keep herself busy, she still finds free time to indulge in reading and watching romantic comedies which include the number 10 in their title, such as “10 Things I Hate About You” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Zoharys both plays and listens to music, her mastered instruments including both the piano to ukulele, and music taste ranging from Classical to K-pop. Her other assorted hobbies and interests include but are not limited to knitting, baking and reading poetry.

Tyler Nguyen, Staff Writer
Active zucchini bread hater and morning showerer, Tyler Nguyen is a sophomore writer on staff, excited to write and tackle journalism competitions. Despite his self-diagnosed declaration of being “obnoxiously loud,” Tyler is an understanding, open-minded, and overall chill guy with a lottery-winning smile. Coincidentally, he compares himself to a lottery wheel, and whether it’s because he’s adventurous or indecisive, we’ll never know. With future aspirations of going into physical therapy, he currently plays tennis and commits to the gym. On campus, you might see him with a camera taking photos for the Gamut and pursuing his passion for photography. Outside of campus, you’ll find him volunteering with his signature Tyler Smile™. Whether you’re looking for an easygoing guy to strike up a conversation with or a dude with a dog named Bella, Tyler’s got your back.