A 2017 Hauser High School graduate who showed head turning ice skating ability at age 5 is getting an opportunity of a lifetime with an amateur hockey team.
Evan Shaw, 18, the son of Brian and Tammy Shaw of Hope, said he would begin traveling to Fishers. There, he will practice Mondays through Fridays in the off season as a member of the Tri-State Spartans, part of the U18 AAA Hockey League.
Once the season begins, the team will play their home games in Fishers and travel across the country for away games, including to far-off states like Arizona and Boston.
"I'm excited," said Shaw, who will play defense. "I've always connected with hockey more than any other sport."
It all started when Shaw was a child.
Helen Wingham, a hardcore hockey fan who ran a licensed daycare, said she took Evan and the rest of her daycare children -- she thinks about 10 of them -- to a hockey rink for a day of fun on the ice. She said the ice skates were barely on Evan's feet when the boy took off across the ice, although he had never worn ice skates before in his life. She became an instant believer, and told Evan's parents the same day that they should enroll the child in hockey so not to waste a moment of his talent.
Since that day, Wingham and her husband have gone to a lot of Shaw's practices and games and have watched the boy develop into a sound player. She said they will continue to watch him play every chance they get as Evan embarks on this new opportunity.
That opportunity came May 17, when Shaw, who played baseball, basketball and soccer in high school, joined about 30 other aspiring hockey players for three days of tryouts in Fishers. On May 20, the team called Shaw's dad to say his son had made the team.
Brian Shaw was elated. He said he and his wife plan to attend as many games as they can, and he will pull for his son every step of the way.
"We're excited to see how far Evan can take this," he said. "We're very proud."
Despite his immediate life as an athlete, Evan Shaw is not neglecting his college-level studies. He said he will take two or three online classes from Ivy Tech Community College and decide later what to choose as a major.
And, of course, he has his eye set on eventually playing college hockey.