Holy Ghost Prep will travel to Pittsburgh this week on a trip that is one part hockey and one part community service. The Firebirds are scheduled to play Shady Side Academy on Wednesday before facing North Allegheny on Thursday night in an outdoor game.
In addition, the hockey team will partner with the DePaul School for Hearing in Speech in Pittsburgh as part of HGP’s immersion program. This signature initiative is part of HGP’s academic curriculum allowing every student the opportunity to be a part of a multi-day service program in the United States and/or around the world.
The hockey team, including the managers, along with 12 additional Holy Ghost sophomores and juniors, will spend the day Friday with the students from the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech. The DePaul School helps students adapt to the use of cochlear implants and teaches them how to speak and hear using technology.
Senior Brady Baehser is the captain of the Holy Ghost Prep hockey team. He was also part of the squad that made the trip to Pittsburgh last January.
“We bring (their fellow students) along) so that can see what it’s like to mix sports and service together,” he said. “We do a lot of fun things with (the DePaul students). They love to see us.
“We’re going to the Hunt Armory rink with them, which is sponsored by the Penguin Foundation, and a Holy Ghost Prep alum, Jim Britt. We’re incredibly lucky for that.”
Baehser says the immersion program has helped him mature. “It made me realize how grateful me and my teammates are,” he said. “We have it so good. So, it always feels good to get back to reality and realize what other kids (are dealing with) so we can be more grateful and use our power to help other people.”
On the ice, the Firebirds, who are 10-2 overall and 3-0-1 in the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference, have won their last four games and eight of their last nine. Their only loss in that span was to Glenbrook South (Illinois) in the finals of the National Scholastic Invitational on December 4. Baehser has scored 15 goals and added 13 assists for 28 points this season and leads the Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference in scoring with five goals and five assists in four conference games.
“I really think it starts with senior leadership,” he said. “We haven’t had this many seniors (10) on the team in a while and we all want to win so bad. We stay together as a team; when we’re losing games, we don’t get down on each other. We really compete hard at practice and it really goes to show in the games.”