Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 90

friend’s mom was one of the coaches and they said put your name in. So I did and within a week I had the position. All of a sudden, my life was on a totally different trajectory. Now, here I am coaching.” Zacharias is now in her second year as Wilson’s assistant with the Blazers, but it certainly isn’t her first rodeo. Back in Grade 11, she was offered a chance to play for the Blazers and she’ll admit that the experience completely changed her life. “This is an amazing program and to have experienced it and see what it’s done for my life, I just sometimes think, ‘Wow!’” she explained. “When I came to BH, I had only played Double A hockey with the Fort Garry/Pembina Trails Twins. I went from a Double A program to BH and all of a sudden all these scouts were watching me and talking to me and a whole new world was opening up. “Prep hockey, Triple A midget and the force that is now female hockey wasn’t there 10 years ago. If you wanted to be a hockey player, you went away to Notre Dame or the Warner School and your parents shelled out $20,000 a year so you could play. My parents weren’t in a position to afford that so I was quite content to play Double A with my friends. “But after my Grade 11 year with the Twins, we’d just won the City Championship and I was going to be named captain the next year and everything was great in the Double A world, when I got a call from Dean Rebeck who was coach at BH then. He talked to my parents and said he ‘wanted Zach to play D at BH’ and at the time there were more scholarship opportunities for BH players and I got one and the rest, as they say, is history.” By accepting the offer to play her Grade 12 year at Balmoral, her life changed dramatically. Suddenly, the hockey world learned that Sarah Zacharias actually existed. “You’re exposed to all these great programs, Shattuck-St. Mary’s and Notre Dame and all of a sudden, I’m visiting Brown University and different Ivy League schools. What I had going for me was that I had such high academics that I was looking at taking the Ivy League route, but in the end I chose Niagara University (Lewiston, N.Y.) because of the size of the classes. They had the smallest classrooms of all the schools I visited. But because I was playing for BH, tons of schools contacted me – D-1, D-3, Europe. I had a school in Spain contact me. It never would have happened if I hadn’t gone to BH. I have friends all over the world now. We just played in Boston and I met up with a friend there. I never would have met these people if I hadn’t gone to BH and played in the hockey program.” These days, Zacharias is on the ice every day, imparting her knowledge of the game to a new group of Blazers, many of whom are headed to NCAA Division 1 schools. Last year, six BH grads accepted scholarships to NCAA D-1 universities and there will be at least four more thi