Why I Play: Luke Wheeler

I love sports. Ever since I was young I played flag football, golf, soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, tennis, lacrosse, and hockey. As I grew up, it is very hard to continue to play each sport at a high level. By the time I was 13, I was mainly playing baseball, and hockey at very competitive levels. I loved playing both of these sports, and enjoyed working on my game and athleticism. It came to a time in my life that I decided to pursue only one sport and be the best I possibly can at it. I chose hockey. Hockey is the game I love most, and I play because I love the game. The game itself is fast and you have to make quick decisions as well as have the skill and strength to play at high levels.

I started playing when I was 5 years old and have been in love with the game ever since. Over the years, I have played for some of the greatest coaches I could possibly ask for. Some of those coaches include NHL players, Joe Sakic, Adam Foote, and the best coach I could possibly ask for, Coach George Gwozdecky. These coaches along with my dad, who coached me as a kid, have been some of the greatest influences in my life. Beginning with my dad, who was an athlete himself playing college football at UCONN, these mentors have helped me learn the game, and grow in my ability to play the game and most of all grow as a man.

Along with growing as a man, hockey has also helped grow my faith. I have been through many ups and downs playing hockey, and I have been tested in my faith. My brothers on my hockey team help me come to work and persevere every day, and our weekly devotionals bring us closer together with each other and God. I play for my teammates, and I give them my best effort every time I step on the ice. I also play for my school to represent them. I play for my family and parents who have done more than I can repay them for. I play to win. More important than any of these though, is I play to glorify God. I would not be anywhere close to where I am at right now if God was not a huge part of my life. He has blessed me in so many ways, and all that I can do is give it all back to Him. I play because I want to give back the talents He has given me. I want to excel in hockey, and through my play wherever it takes me I want to show others who He is.

Playing for Valor means a lot to me because I can play the game I love and represent God while doing it. When I put on our jersey, it means more than just the word “Valor,” and even more than the school I am playing for. It means the world to me. It means I get to play in front of my high school, I get to play with my friends, and I get to play for the glory of God. It is a privilege to play the game of hockey. I am so lucky that I am fully able to play hockey and glorify God through the game I love.