Joe May from Brush started playing hockey when he was in first grade. When May went to third grade, his parents saw how fascinated he was by the sport and agreed to teach him at home so he could more easily participate in travel hockey.
“He started watching hockey and developed a passion for it, which is something completely unique about being a peasant child. We had no idea where it came from, but as parents we just tried to give him the opportunity (to pursue his passion). , ”Said Holly May, Joe’s mother.
Because there are no ice rinks in Morgan County, he first started playing as one of the Greeley Bears.
The Greeley Youth Hockey Association had various “Cub Levels” for the Bears, which represented skill level and technical progression.
As a mere 7-year-old, Joe May was one of the first three children to ever pass Cub Level 5 (the highest level), so he began playing on teams for children between the ages of 9 and 13. As a seventh grader, he played on a team in ninth grade.
After two years at Greeley, Joe May moved to Westminster, where he remained until he was 14 and progressed to the AAA level in the Superior.
“He was just always pulled out. He just excelled at it. I took him to a hockey camp when he was 9 in Michigan at a college (called Western Michigan University), and I thought, ‘We’ll see … because all these Michigan kids (grew up playing hockey).’ And Joe got Camp MVP, ”said Holly May. “He set his goals, and he just always succeeded. He was just always good at it. And when your child has a passion for something, whether they’re good at it or not, it’s your job (as a parent) to make sure. for the childhood of that joy … to support them and what their interests are and what they like to do. ”
Most recently in 2020, Joe May participated in the CCM Hockey Showcase, where he was also named MVP. At the time, he was playing for the AA League Hyland Hills Hockey Association (HHHA), making him the first AA player to win the specific MVP title.
The Sport Stable ice rink in Superior, where he now plays, is 120 miles away from his home in Brush, but that hasn’t stopped May from getting started on the ice. In the summer, Joe May commutes to training five days a week. He works on the family farm during the day and spends time traveling and practicing afterwards. Before he got his driver’s license, however, his mother would drive the daily drive.
“We’ve been doing it for seven years, so it’s been quite a family sacrifice to get him back and forth,” she said.
During the hockey season, however, May lives with her big sister on the Front Range for the easier commute. Many of his teammates live with ticket families or host families during the hockey season, so it is not uncommon in the sport. Despite his personal sacrifices – like time away from his parents, inconvenient driving and homeschooling – Joe May has not regretted his choice to pursue hockey.
“I stuck to it because it was a sport that interested me more than any other sport … It was just my favorite sport, and I loved doing what I did. And the (untraditional) schooling was a side effect of it, but I did not want to change it, “said Joe May.” I have been doing it for almost 12 years and I have enjoyed every second of it. “
Joe May’s team, Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, considers players based on year of birth, which is why he was able to join as one of the youngest players on the team at the age of 17.
The RoughRiders are an 18U AAA team, just one of four Tier 1 teams in Colorado. This season, the RoughRiders were the first team to go undefeated in their league games, reaching the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) Tier 1 State Championship 2022 in late February.
“It was my eighth or ninth state tournament and I have never won one before. I had only got one second place. When we went in, we were No. 1 (seed) and we were clearly the favorite. So it was nice to be “The fights were tough – they are all tough – but we were able to cope,” said Joe May.
After winning the state championship, the team traveled to Dallas, Texas in mid-March to compete in the regional championship. They competed against teams from Arizona, Utah and Texas, reaching the final round, but unfortunately lost to Dallas with only 1 goal in overtime. (RoughRiders was nationally ranked in the 30s, while Dallas was nationally ranked in the top 10.)
ID Camp, where players are rehearsing for the upcoming season, takes place later this week on Friday, April 8th. The final trials will be held in June or July before the 2022-23 season officially begins in August.
Joe May is eligible to play with the RoughRiders for one more year, so he hopes to play for them again as a senior. After high school, he plans to play for a Junior League for two to four years before hopefully being recruited to play for a college league.