Matt Young named hockey all-stater |

Matt Young named hockey all-stater

Jim Noelker photoMatt Young, a junior at Glenwood Springs High School, won all-state hockey honors for the Aspen Skiers.

He’s equally at home breaking down a complex math problem or an opponent’s power play.

His comfort zone extends from the blue line to the end boards … and into the classroom.

Simply, Matt Young – Glenwood Springs High School junior – is an honor student in hockey skates, a 4.0 scholar in an all-state sweater.

“I was really surprised and happy to get all-state,” said Young, who skates with the Aspen High School hockey team.

“It’s a great honor,” he said after he was named to the all-state hockey team by both The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

The Aspen Skiers, with Young leading the defense, reached the final four of state prep hockey this season.

And Young’s polished play caught the eye of the state hockey crowd, earning Young designation among Colorado’s top prep players.

He also was honored recently at the Colorado High School Activities Association Hockey Banquet when he was named to the academic all-state first team.

Young credited the Aspen junior program and the Aspen High School program with giving him a chance to excel in the sport he loves – a sport he grew up with.

“I grew up in Lacrosse, Wis.,” Young said. “I’d been playing hockey there for 12 years.”

His junior tenure in Wisconsin included selection to the All-Wisconsin Select Team.

He said his father was raised in the Glenwood Springs area and that he and his family had visited Colorado frequently over the years.

The family opted to return to Glenwood Springs – and Matt Young was ecstatic.

“We moved here not quite three years ago … just before my freshman year,” said Young, who’s even more articulate than his perfect grade-point average.

He immediately checked into the junior hockey opportunities and soon was skating for the long-established Aspen Junior Hockey Program.

The progression of travel to and from the Aspen Ice Garden, and rinks all around the state, continued and Young joined the Aspen High School team.

Three times his team has skated in the CHSAA State Hockey Tournament.

And numerous times his junior hockey teams skated in state tournaments, even national and international tournaments.

The time, effort and travel are all worth it, according to Young.

“It was pretty crazy sometimes. I’d get home at midnight about twice a week,” he said of his Aspen practice schedule that included sessions from 9-11 p.m.

“But Aspen has an incredibly fun group of players,” he said of the Skiers.

A student – and fan – of hockey, Young said he’s always had defense on his mind.

“Defense has been my favorite since I started,” he said, quickly adding, “I’m undoubtedly a very offensive defenseman.

“I love skating.”

And just about everything about hockey.

This year he was a key skater on the Aspen High school power play as well as the critical penalty-killing unit.

His offensive production out of the Skiers’ defense helped the team into the state semifinals, earning Young all-state honors along the way.

The all-state selections also encouraged Young to pursue college hockey, he said. And the GSHS honor student said he has more than a passing interest in the Air Force Academy.

This year, Air Force recruited Colorado’s top high school player. And Young said he hopes he can follow suit and play NCAA Division I hockey while absorbing a military academy education.

From there, literally, they sky’s the limit for a possible future Air Force pilot.

Just last week, Young was accepted into a special summer program at the Air Force Academy, north of Colorado Springs.

Young was quick to credit his family for the support he’s received in hockey and in school.

The son of Jim and Nancy Young, Matt also has a sister – Laura, 11. This spring, he’s a member of the Glenwood Springs High school track team.

His family, he said, shares in all their successes – in hockey, in academics, in everything.

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