Benilde-St. Margaret’s has come on strong over the past 20 years as a force in Minnesota high school hockey, which is saying something, given the strength of the game in the state of Minnesota. The success has been short lived, relatively speaking, and the school hasn’t made a national name for itself quite yet (Andrew Alberts of the Vancouver Canucks is the only NHL player to come from BSM), but to make it very clear, Benilde is a school kids go to to play hockey.
I didn’t go there to play hockey, but seeing the school raise two banners while I was a student at Benilde certainly raised my appreciation for the game. I definitely thought I would be seeing more former schoolmates skating in the NHL today, but that doesn’t mean that playing for the Red Knights isn’t reward in itself.
One of the things that is recognized about Benilde, even by non athletes (like I was… or wasn’t) was the strong community and support staff that came with the school. The year before I started, a freshman, Bobby, took a stray bullet to the spine, and was paralyzed from the waist down. Because he had the support of his family, friends and Benilde students and staff, he remained upbeat and positive. He has since become a motivational speaker, and runs basketball camps, despite never regaining the ability to walk.
I mention all this background as a means to provide some sort of hope for the family of Jack Jablonski, a hockey player for the Red Knights Junior Varsity team was checked from behind and into the end boards in a game against Wayzata High School. Jablonski, or Jabby, as he is known to friends and teammates, broke two bones at the base of his neck, and is paralyzed, though his prognosis is unclear.
Though Jabby may not ever skate again, there may be some solace in the fact that when he did, he did so at one of the most elite programs he was eligible for. And I can attest from my own experiences, that he is at the right place to be supported through what will be an extremely difficult recovery.
From one Benilde graduate to a current student, here’s praying for the best for Jack Jablonski.
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