Athlete of the Week: Allison Hatcher's heart and speed make up for her size

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Athlete of the Week: Allison Hatcher

Rogers senior forward and co-captain Allison Hatcher brings the puck across the blue line against Blaine on Nov. 19 at Rogers Activity Center. The Bengals defeated the Royals 2-0.

Rogers forward Allison Hatcher isn’t the biggest player on the ice for the Royals. In fact, she’s one of the smallest. Her lack of size doesn’t hinder her ability to give opponents fits.

Hatcher, who is not related to 1999 Stanley Cup champion Derian Hatcher, started playing hockey when she was 6 years old. Hatcher’s cousin Lauren, who is a defender for Rogers, inspired Hatcher to play hockey.

Hatcher’s earliest memories of hockey include running on the ice and seeing her sisters be afraid of going onto the ice. She did line drills and always tried to beat every other skater on the ice. Hatcher’s favorite NHL player is Minnesota Wild left winger Zach Parise. Parise began his career with the New Jersey Devils in 2005 but has played for the Wild since 2013. Parise is known for being a hard worker and a tenacious skater who tries to play every game as if it were game seven of the Stanley Cup final.

“He is constantly working hard and he’s [at the play] when he needs to be there,” Hatcher said. “He’s always in the perfect spot when he plays.”

Defender Ellen Erdahl said Hatcher’s endurance and mindset allow her to play hard and score important goals for the Royals.

“It’s all about heart,” Erdahl said. “Coach Wesloh always says, ‘You have to have heart.’ [Allison] has heart.”

After not making the varsity team in 2016, Hatcher said she decided to improve her fitness before the start of her sophomore year. She played tennis, lifted weights and attended summer skills camps. She made the varsity team that fall after playing the 2016-17 season with the Rogers junior varsity team.

Hatcher scored her first-career goal on Nov. 28, 2017 against Hopkins-St. Louis Park.

Rogers head coach Joel Wesloh said Hatcher has improved immensely since her sophomore season. Wesloh was an Elk River Star News Athlete of the Week in 1989.

“She’s gone from being a JV kid to being our first-line center and captain,” Wesloh said. “That’s what you hope for in all of your players—that they work hard, put the time in and get the results like she has.”

Hatcher is a member of an anti-bullying and suicide prevention group at Rogers High School called HUSH. HUSH stands for Helping U Seek Help. She joined the group during her freshman year.

Hatcher said it’s important to make students more aware of how bullying and mental illness can both impact a student’s ability to learn and contribute to society.

“There’s a lot of stresses happening, especially in school,” Hatcher said. “There’s a lot of people that need to see positivity just to make their day and make them smile. We always write Post-It notes saying, ‘You’re wonderful,’ or ‘You’re amazing.’ On a bookmark that we send to the library, we put a phone number for a suicide prevention organization.”

In a tough conference along with state-title contender Blaine and defending section-champion Maple Grove, Wesloh said having players like Hatcher are essential if a team wants to win championships or have deep postseason runs.

“You’ve got to care about what you do and be proud of what you put out there,” Wesloh said. “If you don’t care and you don’t have heart, it’s not going to happen for you regardless of how much talent you have. If you have heart, you’re probably going to overachieve. I’d rather have kids that overachieve than underachieve and get the most out of themselves.”

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