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"Bret Beaudry / The Superman Goalie Bio"
I have collected and wear many different types of "Superman" paraphernalia including, but not limited to; jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, ball caps, belt buckles, car mats and of course .....my goalie equipment. Why? As an ice hockey goalie I am expected to play like a super hero. The teams I play for expect "Superman" to stop "speeding pucks", throw flying "poke checks", see through "screen shots" (with my "x-ray vision"), leap over "crashing players" ("in a single bound") and be more powerful than a "three on one locomotive" break away?
"Superman" was my "childhood hero" and to me this comic book American icon represents the highest standard of excellence, as well as all the fun times in my life. In my early childhood years I lived in Plymouth Michigan. In the winter my, dad often took us to Wilcox Lake to ice skate. My neighborhood friends and I played pick up street hockey in our winter boots on our icy subdivision streets. In 1972 my family and I moved to Fenton Michigan. Our house was located on a six acre private lake just south of Fenton Michigan. Our home was a great place to fish, swim, camp snowmobile and of course play winter pond hockey with my friends. In addition to basketball and baseball, in my junior year I tried out for the "Linden Eagles Varsity Ice Hockey Team". I would have made the team but the equipment was far too expensive for my parents to afford. Organized hockey went dormant in my life for 24 years!
In the spring of 1999, my daughter, a junior at Plymouth Salem High School came home from school and said she was playing floor hockey in gym class. She indicated that being the goalie was "totally awesome". Several days later she proclaimed her first shut-out and that her school would have their first inaugural boys ice hockey team in the fall of 1999, her senior year. She told me she "so wanted to be" the "Plymouth Salem Rocks" girl goalie. To support her dream, I had her pay for half of the costs of her pads with a deal that if she made the team I would give her the money back she put in from her savings account, about $650.00. Of course this also became my reason to purchase a set of pads to teach, play and hang with my new "hockey buddy", Robin. With only figure skating lessons under her belt she was going to have to compete against boys who had played and been coached in organized hockey for many years. Her work was cut out for her. Through the summer of 1999 Robin skated drop-in hockey sessions 10 -15 times per week. She and I skated in late night "drop-in" hockey sessions at the Farmington Hills Ice Rink on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from midnight to 2:00 am. In addition, we attended Rick Heinz Goalie School to further develop our skills. On her final day of goalie school she competed with 25 other goalies and won the school's "Shoot Out Award".
As a senior, and the only girl with the guts to tryout, Robin made the "Plymouth Salem Boys Ice Hockey Team". She was forced to endure adverse conditions associated with girls entering and competing in boy's sports. She participated in every practice and attended every game while head coach Fred Feiler continued to discriminate her by not allowing her to start a single game . . . that is until "Senior Night". In addition to a miserable record of only 3 season wins, as a coach trusted to guide young people, Feiler failed to teach his players values, fundamentals and respect for the sport.
On Senior night (with only three games left in the season) it was Robin's turn to shine as she started, finished and won the game delivering a spectacular shut-out! Talk about Karma!
Shortly thereafter, Robin was awarded WJR's athlete of the week and was interviewed by Frank Beckman. During that radio interview Robin proclaimed to Mr. Beckman; "If it weren't for my dad this never would have happened, he's my hero". There is nothing better than being your kid's hero. From that moment on my "Superman" theme was born and a custom jersey with the "S" crest on the front and the name "Superman" on the back serve as daily reminders to me that life is a challenge, it is about playing, teaching, discipline, respect, setting a good example, working hard, loving people, making friends and having fun.
It was a year later when the infamous warm-up "cape" was adorned (a challenge of the Oak Park Hockey League) which puts an exclamation point on my passion and fun for the great sport of ice hockey!
Prior to each game, as a celebration to the sport I love, friends I've made and my accomplishments, my cape is worn for my warm-up shots.
A "Goalie With a Passion", "SUPERMAN" and "The Cape" - "The Rest of The Story"