Athlete Spotlight: Dan Hill

For many kids, it takes a parent to get them to start playing a sport. The opposite happened with Dan Hill ’17. His self-appreciation for the game keeps him motivated and allows him to be great. Although his name is known by many around campus, Hill’s childhood is a story that is yet to be discovered.

Like most hockey players, Hill started out learning how to skate on the frozen ponds in his hometown of Oberlin, Ohio. “I enjoyed skating and seeing the lines my skates made in the ice,” he remarked. After getting down all the basic skills, including holding a stick and using it to hit a puck, Hill was struck with a new question. “My dad asked if I would like to start playing organized hockey.” The rest is history.

At nine-years-old, Hill began his hockey career with the Elyria Panthers, leading him to deciding where he would play next. Hill was in the process of choosing the high school of his choice when he overheard his father, who is also his biggest influence, telling his older brother about a small private school called Western Reserve Academy. “It turned out my dad had gone to WRA and so had my grandfather and my uncles,” mentioned Hill. He shadowed at the school and realized it was the place for him. In his four years in green and white, the Baron Cup has been his biggest hockey accomplishment. The hockey player commented, “After winning the Baron Cup my freshman year, we moved up a division. My sophomore year, despite being in a harder division, we won the Baron Cup for a second time.”

The perspective that Hill has on the hockey team is “unique.” He explained, “Some kids who joined have never skated before and some who have skated all their lives, regardless, all are let into the program. This gives the team an amazing dynamic. We are like a family who all love to skate and play hockey, making it one of the most amazing and fun experiences in which I have been able to partake in.”

In the rink, what makes Hill special is his versatility. “I play everything except goalie. I started off the season playing center, moved to wing, and ended with mostly playing defense. On occasion, I will move to forward for a shift or two,” he noted. The team work and pace of the game are the aspects that make the sport most enjoyable for him. “ I love the speed and how everything is a quick decision that, more often than not, has to be made on the fly,” stated Hill. Although his stick handling is not at the same level of his peers, he does the dirty work that is necessary for the team’s success. He added, “In hockey, it pays to hustle, and I am good at hustling. I can skate, and I can do it quickly. When there is a loose puck I will try my hardest to get to it.”

A nine year hockey career will be coming to a close for Hill, but he will not be entirely giving up the sport. He will play club hockey at Oberlin College, competing against men’s pick up teams and such. Hill concluded, “I just love playing the game. Getting to go out on the ice everyday and skate with my friends is the best part about it.”

-Steven Yang ’19

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