Badger to help promote female hockey
Okotoks: Former Raider Katy Josephs guest speaker at gala
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 06:00 am
A member of a major U.S. college team and a silver medalist at a world championship credits her experience with the top female hockey team in the foothills with paving the way to her success.
Katy Josephs, a sophomore forward with the University of Wisconsin Badgers, will be the guest speaker at the Okotoks Female Hockey Development Gala on June 1 at the Foothills Community Centre.
Josephs is the former captain of the Highwood AAA Raiders of the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League. The Raiders, who play out of High River, are the top female team in the Okotoks Oilers Athletic Association.
“Playing with the Raiders was a major part of the developmental part of my career,” the 20-year-old Josephs said. “It was really good for me to lead a team like that and have somewhere to play.
“I personally didn’t want to go to a prep school to play hockey, so the Raiders were very important to me.”
She was able to graduate with her friends at Springbank High School while driving the hour and 15 minutes to attend Raiders practices.
She catapulted the experience with the Raiders into landing a spot on Team Canada for the 2011 U18 Female World Hockey Championships in Sweden.
Josephs finished the tournament with two goals and an assist and came home with a silver medal after Canada was beaten 6-2 in the final by the United States.
“It was heart-wrenching because we got down early and we just couldn’t come back,” Josephs said. “But it was encouraging to know that we did our best and never gave up.
“It was such an honour to represent my country overseas.”
She then switched her focus to helping the Badgers.
Josephs just finished her second season at Wisconsin in March with six goals and one assist.
The Badgers lost in the final of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
She loves college life and the hockey at Wisconsin.
“It’s great because it is one of the strongest leagues there is for women’s hockey for university,” she said. “We play against some of the best women in the world and every game is hard.
“It’s just awesome.”
She is also doing awesome in the classroom. The former Raiders captain is studying civil engineering and has a 3.85 grade point average at the university in Madison, Wisconsin.
She said she wants to share her experience and the importance of her development with the Raiders with those at the June 1 banquet.
“I want to talk to them about growing up in hockey and how important it was getting that development into getting me where I am today,” she said.
The Highwood Raiders had one of their strongest teams during her career with the AAA Midget program.
They made it to the semifinals of the Mac’s Midget Tournament in 2009. In Josephs’ final year with the Raiders in 2010, Highwood didn’t qualify for the Mac’s playoffs because their captain wasn’t there.
However, she had a good excuse — she was preparing to leave for Sweden for the world championships with Team Canada.
Representing her country again is one of her goals.
“If I get the opportunity I would love to try out for the Olympic team, but I have to get invited to that,” Josephs said. “Right now, my goal is to focus on having a good season next year and continue to have good grades.”
The proceeds of the Okotoks gala are going towards the ever-growing girls hockey program in the community as well as to offer training sessions during the summer. At present, there are more than 240 girls playing in the Okotoks Minor Hockey Association.
Tickets for the gala are $100 and are available at Okotoks Sobeys or Classic Source for Sports.
They are also available by calling Jennifer Dustow at 403-938-6869. Each ticket is also entered into a draw to win a Ford Fiesta from Okotoks Ford.
Dustow said the lucky winner will own the car it’s not a lease.