Jarret Walt, a Moffat County High School junior who plays hockey for the Steamboat Springs Sailors, was selected to join the Colorado Ski Country Selects youth hockey team when they play March 24 to April 1 in Engelberg, Switzerland. Walt has set up a fundraising page on the Selects website hoping to raise enough money to cover his travel expenses.

Joanie Walt/Courtesy

Jarret Walt, a Moffat County High School junior who plays hockey for the Steamboat Springs Sailors, was selected to join the Colorado Ski Country Selects youth hockey team when they play March 24 to April 1 in Engelberg, Switzerland. Walt has set up a fundraising page on the Selects website hoping to raise enough money to cover his travel expenses.

MCHS junior selected to play hockey in Switzerland

To donate …

To donate money to help Jarret Walt pay for his trip to Switzerland, visit www.cscs-selects.... and contribute at the bottom of the page.

Quotable

“It is fast-paced and you have to be on your feet about everything. I don’t want to just go there for a good time, I want to go to win. Being able to play with faster players is only going to help me out.”

— Jarret Walt, a Moffat County High School junior, about playing hockey in advanced leagues

Jarret Walt has a dream of playing hockey at the next level.

Walt, a Moffat County High School junior, lives in a town without an official high school hockey team, so he commutes to Steamboat Springs to play for the Sailors.

Because Walt lives on the Western Slope instead of the Front Range, where he says the best hockey teams are, he plans to go to a camp this summer in Arvada to get his name out there.

But Walt may have found his biggest opportunity in Craig.

While skating at Moffat County Ice Arena, Walt came across Bryan Smith, a coach for the Colorado Ski Country Selects youth hockey team that travels for a week to play in Europe.

Walt tried out for Smith, showing his hockey and skating skills, and was asked to be one of 15 players joining the Selects from March 24 to April 1 in Engelberg, Switzerland.

“It feels pretty good to be selected and it is definitely a great opportunity I will not abuse,” Walt said Wednesday. “It is inspiring, because if I can do this, than I can do a lot of things I maybe didn’t think I was capable of doing.”

The Selects will play five games against local Switzerland Junior Elite and Junior Top teams while experiencing local culture in their down time.

Walt said he is excited to see how hockey is played in a different country other than the United States.

“I am going to gain valuable experience,” he said of playing in Switzerland. “I will get to see the way other players play the game and look at what I can do to improve my own game.

“I think it is going to be a lot of fun over there.”

Walt said he has talked to several players who have played in Europe before, and they say the same thing — the game is a lot faster than it is here.

“It is fast paced and you have to be on your feet about everything,” he said. “I don’t want to just go there for a good time, I want to go to win. Being able to play with faster players is only going to help me out.”

To help Walt pay for his trip, he is asking for donations, hoping to raise $1,600, or about half the total cost.

Walt has set up a fundraising page on the Selects website, and donations can be made by visiting http://www.cscs-selects.com/jarret-walt23-jarret-walt/ and contributing at the bottom of the page.

“If I do really good (in Switzerland) and turn this into a career, people form here can be a part of that,” Walt said. “They can help a kid live his dream and pursue a career in hockey.”

Walt said he hopes to join a Junior hockey team after he graduates high school and then play at a Division I or Division II college while earning his degree.

Playing in Switzerland, he said, could be a huge push in the right direction.

“Hockey is my favorite sport and I have been playing since I was about 5 years old,” he said. “In most sports you just run and do things, but in hockey you have to learn to play and learn to skate.

“It is different than any other sport, and I want to continue playing as long as I can.”

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