Sports editor’s note:
Throughout the season, Ben Dalpe, brother of former Penticton Vee Zac Dalpe, will write a column for the Western News giving readers insight into his life on the ice and away from the rink.
I have had many ideas and suggestions on possible topics for this article. This week I would like to talk about something my billet parents, Alan and Jackie Profilli, suggested, which is sharing the daily lifestyle of playing junior A hockey in Penticton.
I will explain a regular day that does not include a game. Wake-up for me is usually around 9 a.m. For players who are not attending school, they have to be at the rink for 10 a.m. When we arrive, we have many different options for things to do. Some guys stretch, eat, work out, go on the ice or even some show up for 10 a.m. and go right back home. I usually stretch or head on the ice with my linemate and captain, Brad McClure. Some days we have a massage therapist come and two stretch ladies, so if you have an appointment with them, that’s usually what you do. After that, you have until 2 p.m. to report back to the rink to prepare for practice.
With that free time I usually head back to my billet house. With a couple of hours to kill, I usually pull out my guitar and play for awhile (maybe even sing because no one can hear me). I also enjoy playing some basketball with neighbour and teammate Olivier Mantha. Depending on time and how I’m feeling that day, I may even sneak in a little 30-minute nap. Before heading to the rink, I will make some lunch or sometimes head to Subway. Upon arrival at the rink at 2 p.m., I get into my under-gear right away. I then tape two sticks for practice. Before off-ice warm-up, I join the rest of the guys for a friendly soccer game we call sewer ball. This is where the last person to keep the ball up off the ground is out. I have been pretty successful this year, usually try and get all the rookies out of the game first.
Then we warm-up as a team led by McClure. Depending on the day we may do strategy before practice, but if not we practice at 3:15 p.m. After practice some days we have a team workout led by assistant coach Mike Hengen. If we don’t work out, I head to my billets’ for dinner. Life there is great. They are very good cooks, and it’s lots of fun living here. Alan and I often play a game of pool. He wins most of the time, but little does he know, I practice regularly when he is not home so hopefully his winning days will be over soon. On most nights I end up watching TV with them as we have gotten interested in a couple shows (Blacklist and Big Bang Theory). I believe it’s important to have a good relationship with your billets as it will help you grow as a person.
Well, that’s what a regular day looks like for me. I do think it’s important to know what happens away from the rink when most see us at games. I hope you all enjoy this weekend.