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Alpena Hockey’s Ethan Walker Named WBKB’s Athlete of the Week

ALPENA, MI – There are plenty of tough teams throughout the Northeastern Michigan area. We’ve started to wonder who pushes their teammates towards greatness. Collaborating with local coaches and athletes to gather their input on who has strived to become a standout leader, WBKB Sports has began searching for that answer as we introduce our new Athlete of the Week segment. We’re kicking things off with the Alpena Wildcats hockey team’s freshman defenseman, Ethan Walker.

It’s quite unusual for a young freshman to take charge in pushing and motivating his team in an influential way. That happens to be the situation for the Wildcats hockey team when they have a player like Walker in the lineup. Despite only being a freshman, Walker clocks in a ton of minutes making each one count for the Wildcats. “I think he’s stepped up in a huge way,” said Head Coach Ben Henry. “He’s here to get better and work hard every single day.”

It’s likely that each time Walker steps onto the ice, he’s one of the youngest players out there. Despite that, his coaches have recognized that the 15-year-old is up for the challenge as he becomes more effective each game on Alpena’s power play unit. “It means a lot actually because I’m a freshman,” said Walker. “It’s a little nerve-racking because there are a lot of older kids.”

Not only does Walker impress his coaches, but also his teammates. Crediting him to always bring up the team’s morale as Alpena navigates a three-game slump. “Leading by example which helps,” said junior forward Garrett Hamp. “The other freshmen seeing that a person their age can do it helps a lot.”

Ending 2023 on a three-game losing streak, the Wildcats are aiming to string together some wins. Alpena’s first chance to do so is set for January 5 when the team travels to face Livonia Stevenson at 8 p.m.