Saints D-man Learns to Earn Success in the Classroom

Stefan Gonzales Hitting Stride in Business Administration Program


Selkirk Saints defenceman Stefan Gonzales celebrated his greatest hockey triumph last March when he helped his team to its second straight British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) title at the Castlegar Recreation Complex.

The bumps and bruises from the season-ending highlight moment were well earned, but the opponents Gonzales faced on the ice were nothing compared to the battles he faced in the classroom after returning to school after a four-year absence.

Stefan Gonzales profile

Selkirk College Saints defenceman Stefan Gonzales came to the West Kootenay to continue on with his hockey career, but has discovered that life as a student athlete teaches lessons he never imagined.

“I barely survived the first semester,” says Gonzales. “I never really had great study habits in high school; I got good grades by just showing up to class. I was lucky in that sense, but it didn’t really prepare me for the amount of work I would have to do coming back to school.”

Gonzales played junior hockey for four seasons before arriving to Selkirk College at the start of the 2013-2014 school term. Forgoing any college courses after high school to concentrate on hockey, two months into the first semester at Selkirk College, Gonzales had failed a midterm and was struggling in the role of student athlete.

“After four years of just playing hockey and hanging out with your buddies watching Netflix and playing video games, there wasn’t a lot of studying going on then,” he says. “Coming back, it was a steep learning curve for the first couple of months. It was much harder than I anticipated.”

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This past weekend the Saints lost their third straight game to Eastern Washington University by a 5-2 score in Cheney, Washington. The Saints will once again tangle with Eastern Washington this coming weekend. The locals will travel south on Friday night and then return to the Castlegar Recreation Complex on Saturday night for a 7 p.m. puck drop.


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