photo by Moriah Hernandez
Even with only the Arizona Coyotes to look up to, the interest and development of youth hockey continues to expand in the state. With various competing ice skating rinks in the state, there are quite a few youth hockey organizations. But what some may not know is that Arizona also features a handful of high schools with hockey teams as well. Hockey is not the average high school sport, particularly in the desert, but that hasn’t stopped teams from competing. Jordan Nash-Boulden is a senior at Cactus Shadows High School and the team’s star goalie. She is the only girl on the team and helped the boys to become the 2015-2016 D3 High School State Champions. Nash-Boulden has already witnessed a change in the community support for her high school team over the last couple years.
“It was cool to win the state championship. We had a bunch of people come out to the games. There were people chanting players’ names in the stands,” Nash-Boulden said. “This is what high school sports are supposed to be like. They’re supposed to want to come out and support. This year we got a lot of that.”
If I were to do a story featuring Nash-Boulden, I would focus on the unusual nature of the high school hockey teams in Arizona. I would tell the story through text and in-depth interviews about how hockey is growing on the West coast. It would be centered on the high school opportunity to play a sport originally thought to be unsuitable for regions like Arizona. Photographs would be a nice touch to break up the text, if possible. An infographic would serve the same purpose as well as incorporating some facts about high school hockey and potentially some comparisons with that going on the East coast. Interviews with coaches, athletic directors at local high school, and multiple players would offer insight into the story.