Glenwood’s Buxman holds her own with the boys
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Ariana Buxman and ice hockey were an instant fit. She rather vividly remembers the day she became initiated with the sport.
“At the rodeo grounds, they used to freeze it over in the winter,” said Buxman, a freshman at Glenwood Springs High School. “I used to go there to skate, because I loved to skate.
“One day, these boys ran out of a trailer in hockey gear and I looked at my parents and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.'”
Hockey is precisely what Buxman, maybe 4 years old at the time, did. By the time she was 6, she was suiting up for Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association teams.
And so began a hockey-packed adolescence.
Playing for the GSYHA’s Glenwood Grizzlies growing up, Buxman was always the only girl on the ice. That never kept her from success.
“There’s never been any issue,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the guys’ speed and physical play and stuff. Other than that, I feel like I’ve fit in fine.”
Buxman eventually took her game to Aspen, where she’s been playing on girls teams since she was 10.
This year, she helped Aspen to a U14 girls state championship.
“Hockey is pretty well populated up there,” Buxman said. “There are a lot of girls on every team.”
Buxman still plays with the boys. She played with Aspen’s Bantam A team this year and a little for Glenwood’s Bantam B squad.
“I do a 50 percent girls schedule,” Buxman said. “My parents wanted me to get used to, to transition into girls. For sure, that’s what I want to do someday.”
To keep playing, she knows her future will be with the girls. And Buxman’s just fine with that.
“Hockey’s my passion. I want to go with it as long as I can,” she passed along. “I’m hoping for a career in hockey. … My long-term goal is the Olympics.”
After attentively charting last month’s Winter Olympics, she knows getting there won’t be easy.
“I was always glued to the TV, watching the girls and men’s hockey,” Buxman said. “It was great. I actually got the chance to see [the U.S. women’s team] before the Olympics in Colorado Springs. They played a game against Finland. It’s amazing to see how fast you have to be to make the Olympics.
“It’ll take a lot of hard work. Just hard work and dedication.”
Hard as it may be, it probably won’t feel a whole lot like work to Buxman, whose love for hockey hasn’t wavered – not even a bit – since that day at the rodeo grounds.
“When you have a passion, something you really care about, even if you make a mistake or if you do something fantastic, it’s still great for me,” she said. “I love every part of it.”
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