Three-sport athlete provides insight into what makes her hockey season unique.
By Callia Peterson, ’22
S ophomore Kyle Baugh stares into her reflection, smoothing her hair into a neat ponytail before putting on her helmet and entering the ice.
“I started skating because my brother played,” Baugh said. “I thought it was cool, and I didn’t know [yet] that not many girls played hockey.”
Baugh, a JV offensive player, is the only girl on either UA hockey team. Baugh’s biggest challenge is communication, because men and women are placed in separate locker rooms and often spend time apart before warm-ups.
However, Baugh said her participation on predominantly male teams is something she has become used to overtime.
“It wasn’t like I was just thrown into this. I kind of worked my way up into it,” she said. “I have [almost] always played on boys teams, and I know a lot of [the boys on the team] because I have played with them before.”
Baugh said the most frustrating part is the injustices off the ice.
“There were definitely times when I was like, ‘I don’t want to play anymore’ when I was younger. I was just tired of it. I had been playing for awhile, and sometimes it wouldn’t be the best circumstances,“ she said. “Like, I would show up and they would [say], ‘Oh we don’t have a locker room for you; you have to just get dressed in the bathroom.’”
However she said her patience and determination is an accomplishment.
“It is not like I could talk to other people about it because no one else really gets it,” she said. “So I’m proud of persevering and for being unique.”
Although Baugh has played on girl’s traveling hockey teams, she is thankful for the opportunity to play on the UAHS team and also have more flexibility.
“I could’ve played for a girls travel team, but they don’t have them in Columbus,” she said. “I have a lot of friends here, and I wanted to stay here. If I went to a prep school, I would’ve had to focus on [only hockey].”
Baugh mentioned that she loves the sheer uniqueness of the sport.
“I love soccer and lacrosse, too but ice skating is just a different feeling,” she said. “I’m putting metal blades on my feet and skating around with a bunch of equipment.”
Baugh emphasized that being treated as a teammate, who just shares a passion for the game, is most important.
“When I am on the ice, I am just like everyone else. I don’t want to be treated as the only girl, I just want to play hockey,” she said. “I am there to play and have fun and be a good teammate.”