by Arch Ecker
Some ice hockey players have been on skates so long, they don’t remember learning. It’s just always been a part of their life. For Cooper Zech, that’s not exactly the case. “My earliest hockey memory was around 5 years old”, he recalls. “I didn’t like skating very much and wasn’t very good at it so my dad would skate in front of me dropping m&m’s on the ice so I would skate around following him the whole time picking up the m&m’s as I went.” It may not have been the most conventional method, but it certainly was effective. 14 years later, Cooper Zech is headed to play junior hockey in Wenatchee with a Division I college commitment to Ferris State in his pocket.
The fleet-footed Zech started as a forward. “One year in peewees, the defensemen on our team weren’t very strong, and I played a few games at defense and just stuck ever since.” The move paid dividends, allowing him to secure a commitment with Ferris State University in the WCHA. It’s admittedly taken the pressure off the Michigan native. “It’s definitely a relief not having to worry as much about who is in the stands that night and it makes it easier to just play my game the best I can.” His preference is to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice, and hopefully become a police officer.
He checks in at 5’7” and 160 lbs., and loves to handle the puck. “I am a defenseman that is offensive, I like to jump in the rush when I can and make plays in the offensive zone”, Zech reveals. That’s part of what led him to the Wenatchee Valley. “Wenatchee is known for having one of the best rinks with the best fan base and an unbelievable track record”, he says. “Their style of play is very similar to the style that I like to play.” He has his list of goals lined out for the coming year, both personal and team-based. “What I am most excited for is playing for a team that is known to make deep playoff runs and have a real chance at winning it all.”
Wenatchee Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler is looking forward to what Zech will bring to the fold. “Cooper is an experienced puck moving defenseman that has run a power play at the NAHL level”, Littler notes. “We expect him to be an exciting player to watch.”
Season ticket packages are on sale now at the Wild office by calling 509-888-7825. Single game tickets and group packages will be available soon. Plans are also underway for select fan bus trips this season and will be announced soon.
The Wenatchee Wild are celebrating their tenth season in the Valley. Stay up to date with the team all year long on Facebook (facebook.com/wenatcheewildhockey), Twitter (@WenatcheeWild1), YouTube (Wen Wild), Snapchat (wwildhockey), Instagram (Wenatchee_wild), and on the team’s official website (wenatcheewildhockey.com). Listen to every game on KCSY – Sunny FM 93.9. Download our free “Wenatchee Wild” app for your iOS or Android device.