Bowden’s Callie Cocke has been selected to play for Zone 4’s female hockey team at the 2016 Alberta Winter Games.
The 12-year-old Bowden Grandview School student is headed to her first Games, held in Medicine Hat from Feb. 13-16.
Cocke said she was nervous about attending tryouts, not knowing many other girls.
“But they were really fun. The coaches and all of the instructors were really good with us,” she said.
She’s eager to learn and play high-calibre hockey with them.
It will be a different experience for her. That’s because Cocke plays forward with the Innisfail peewee A Flyers boys team.
The Innisfail Minor Hockey Association does have a female peewee team.
However, “I just choose to play with the boys,” Cocke said. “I find boys hockey a little bit more competitive than with the girls.”
“The boys are really good with me. They’re really protective,” she adds with a laugh.
The Flyers play in the Central Alberta Hockey League’s PeeWee Tier II division. They’re 6-0 and in first place (as of writing). Cocke has something to do with that — she leads the team in scoring with three goals and 10 assists.
Asked if she grew up idolizing any players, Cocke said she’s met a couple of players on the Canadian women’s national team, connecting well with Meaghan Mikkelson.
“She just had a lot of stuff to tell us about how we could become better hockey players.”