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Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

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Hockey hero with high hopes

Aydin Zakroczymski takes on his final hockey season with the added pressure of being a captain and a student-athlete.
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Hannah Barczak

Hockey, a sport of technical prowess, dedication and violence. The sport has millions of fans from around the world. First appearing in the Olympics in 1920, hockey generates billions of dollars in the U.S. alone and is only growing in popularity. The best in the sport start young and build their skills through their early life with hopes of becoming a competitor, Senior Aydin Zakroczymski is no different.

Starting at the age of six; Zakroczymski has been developing his skills and honing his technique. He is an assistant captain for the Lakers hockey team which ties into the Northern Lake County Conference. He also helped the Kenosha Komets greatly when he was still a part of the organization.

“My greatest accomplishment in hockey was probably winning the Wisconsin State Championship in 2018, I scored the game winning goal,” Aydin Zakroczymski said.   

These accomplishments solidify him as a dominant athlete on the ice as he demonstrates impressive athletic skills and leadership qualities. Aydin Zakroczymski did not achieve this through sheer luck; he works hard and attributes this to his dad and the Chicago Blackhawks.

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“What got me into hockey was my dad and growing up watching the Blackhawks play. I just found love for the game,” Aydin Zakroczymski said. “I was really inspired to play like the guys on TV.”

Adam Zakroczymski is Aydin’s father, ex-coach and greatest supporter. These are three massively important roles throughout Aydin Zakroczymski’s life and a complex role for his dad to fill is that of both father and coach.

“It is a sticky situation as a dad and a coach when it comes to other players and other parents,” Adam Zakroczymski said. “You have to kind of figure out a way to divorce that father-son relationship and find a way to be able to push him to a level where he respects you, that can be very challenging for a father-son, coach-player relationship.”

A large part of the issue that arises from a father/coach relationship is resentment from teammates. As this can generate a feeling that the coaches kid is getting special privileges or favoritism over the other players. Apart from the drama this can cause, Aydin Zakroczymski has faced other challenges on the ice with his dad mentioning a few that are still struggles today and some that were overcome.

“His biggest struggles I think are skating form, like his form sometimes early on was kind of funny to watch and he hasn’t always been the biggest kid,” Adam Zakroczymski said. “I think it wasn’t until the last couple years he struggled a little bit to have that confidence that he’s better than he thinks he is.”

To gain confidence on the ice and build his skills Aydin Zakroczymski spends an immense amount of time practicing for the Lakers and most of these practices are late at night.

“Most of our practices don’t start till 9:30 p.m. and practice ends at 10:15 p.m. the latest nights but I’ll stay out there an extra 10-20 minutes just putting up extra shots and putting that work in,” Aydin Zakroczymski said. “Then I’ll get off the ice around 11:10 [p.m.] and be home at 11:45 [p.m.] then I still have to shower, eat something and make sure I’m ready to go for school tomorrow and do the same exact thing the next day.”

This is an extremely challenging schedule for Aydin Zakroczymski as a student athlete, son and brother. There are many other demands in life besides hockey that need to be met and Aydin Zakroczymski always meets them. He maintains both good grades and strong bonds with the people around him.

Aydin Zakroczymski stays dedicated through his influences in and out of the sport citing Connor Bedard, Marion Rose and CJ Stroud as some of his biggest influences for continuing to work hard and be a good person.

“CJ Stroud is not connected to hockey but he is connected to football, I agree with his beliefs 100% and I just think he’s really awesome,” Aydin Zakroczymski said.

One of the most dramatic changes in Aydin Zakroczymskis’s hockey career was the shift from the Komets to the Lakers, an entirely new program with new kinds of interactions.  

“Before I joined Lakers, I was playing club hockey for the Kenosha Komets. I played there for probably seven years,” Aydin Zakroczymski. “It wasn’t really the same as high school hockey because of the fan interaction. I like the supporters from the school.” 

Although Aydin Zakroczymski devotes an enormous amount of time to hockey; he has other passions such as working, lifting and playing video games. 

“I’d say my other passions are weightlifting, spending time with the people I love most like friends, family, my girlfriend, and also working,” Aydin Zakroczymski said. “It’s a good feeling getting that bag, also playing Fortnite, It is just the time of my life with my buddies.”

As Aydin Zakroczymski winds down his senior year, he is staying focused on his schoolwork and of course hockey. He plans to play hockey after high school in some manner.

“After my senior year, I still want to continue to play hockey, whether it’s club hockey or not,” Aydin Zakroczymski said. “I’m thinking about playing on Illinois State University’s club hockey team, I am going out to a prospects camp and seeing if I would be able to play for that team.”

Aydin Zakroczymski is an athlete, scholar and leader. These are roles that he takes in great stride both on and off the ice and he does this with the support of his coaches, friends and family. He is excited to continue to push himself further and become a successful athlete, these are hopes his father also holds for him. Adam Zakroczymski wanted to leave some advice for his son and other athletes he wished he would have taken.

“Don’t let outside influences wear you down because you played the game you are playing for a reason, and remember the reason you’re playing,” Adam Zakroczymski said.

You can see Aydin Zakroczymski on the ice at any of the Lakers games this winter season; you can also see his dad at any of those games cheering his son on.

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About the Contributors
Cole Loiacano, Sports Print Director
Cole Loiacano is a senior and it is his second year in Tom Tom, In his free time he runs both Cross Country and Track he also enjoys discovering new music as well as traveling with friends and family.
Hannah Barczak, Visual Director
Hannah Barczak is a senior this is her fourth year on staff as well as her second year as the Visual Director on the Executive Board of the Tom Tom.  Along with her interest in media, this will be her fourth year as an ACHS cheerleader. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, taking pictures, and traveling during her free time. Barczak is excited to make the most of her senior year.
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