Allen High School isn’t known for hockey. Despite this, the Eagle’s ice hockey program seems to be going strong and playing a fair game. Ranked fourth in the league with a record of 6-8, the Allen Varsity Hockey team defies all expectations and brings a chilling edge to the hot and dry sports of Allen. Senior Carson Loos is a starting player on the team who found love in the sport.
“I hated [ice-skating] at first, but once they put me in the hockey gear, I fell in love with it,” Loos said. “This will be my 13th year playing hockey, and fifth year playing for Allen. I started [playing] for Allen [on JV] in seventh grade.”
While Loos may be a starting and central player, hockey is ultimately a team sport. In a state where ice is scarce, those on the ice have to band together. It doesn’t matter which team you are on; if you play hockey, you have a bond.
“Hockey is really a family thing,” Loos said. “Once you start playing you really get to know everyone.”
Many of the teams Allen plays against have members that play on Loos’s select team. The hockey community is far and few in-between in Texas, so several team members are also on select teams with players on Highland Park, Jesuit and Southlake Carroll.
“[Highland Park has] three club members, two of which play on my club team,” Loos said. “Jesuit’s starting goalie is [actually] our club goalie.”
While much of hockey is focused on family, it’s also an intensely competitive sport. Players have to play hard in order to get better, sometimes that means long hours and intense training. Even though Allen is only ranked fourth in the league this year, it’s a big improvement from being ranked seventh during the 2018-2019 season. An influx of new players moving up from JV has helped fuel their team.
“We definitely have [improved this year]; the record may not reflect that,” Loos said. “But we have a lot of kids that come into the program, that aren’t as good as some of the kids that play club; but they come to practice [and] work hard and the team is getting a lot better.”
Despite varsity’s improvement, there have been setbacks and struggles for the team this year. This includes Loos, who was out for three weeks due to a shoulder injury earlier in the season.
“The only really big struggle this year is because we all play club, we all travel. There’s been three weeks so far this year where all our travel kids weren’t there. So we had no select leadership there,” Loos said. “Those [games] hurt us because you can’t attack and play aggressive, you have to play defensive, because you don’t want [the other] teams to completely bombard your backup.”
Not only does varsity have players that travel for club games that are missing home games, but they will also have a huge turnover of senior players leaving after this season, such as Carson.
“We had a couple guys that are old and some young guys that have moved up [to varsity] who are great, it’s a really good push for next year,” Loos said. “We’re losing a lot of seniors. The young kids playing up will get a ton of experience to keep the team going for next year.
Injuries aren’t the only thing that caused problems this year. Consistency is key when it comes to hockey. If the team is not consistent they will lose more games than they win.
“Hockey is all about good and bad days. You have good days, your team plays great, [and] there’s bad days where your goalie doesn’t play well, [or] your defense doesn’t play well,” Loos said. “Hockey is all about consistency, that’s the biggest thing”
Loos said he will be departing the Allen High School Hockey program and playing college hockey, instead of moving up to U-19 hockey.
“I am going to East Texas Baptist University. I committed there,” Loos said. “I do a college skate every year for Texas colleges, and freshman year the ETBU coach fell in love with me.”
While Loos has played varsity hockey since freshman year, he said this season is shaping up to be almost as great as his freshman season when varsity won the state tournament and advanced to nationals.
“This is one of our best seasons besides freshman year,” Loos said. “Then you have a lot of older guys who are good and play club hockey, it really helps carry the team,” Loos said. “Especially when playing in the top division. This is one of our better years, we have seven skilled guys and the rest [of the team is] people who don’t have as much experience.”
Unfortunately, many people don’t even know about hockey because of Allen’s wide variety of sports and prestigious football team. Loos is hoping to change that before the end of his senior year. He is working hard to advertise their games and their program so more members of Allen High School can enjoy hockey.
“I know a ton of JV kids in seventh, eighth grade, and freshman that I want hockey to be big for them. Even if it’s not big for me,” Loos said. “Once you get that footstep going, people will follow and you’ll get more people going to games.”
To get a more in-depth look at The Eagle’s 2019-2020 season read Eagles Ice Hockey: End of Season Recap and view the scores for each game this season.