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Finding the Balance: Juan Jaundice [1/2]

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Hello and welcome to Finding the Balance with Howie Buskiewitz, our new segment that focuses on up-and-coming players that have piqued our communities interest, for better or for worse. Today we are joined by the newest goaltender for the Saskatoon Wild: Juan Jaundice.


Juan is far from a typical case in the VHLM. Having no concrete experience and being a late entry into the world of hockey, Juan is trying to stay afloat in a world that has swallowed many dreams whole. What is even more atypical is his current contract: Not many are sure how Juan went from beer leagues to a roster spot on the Saskatoon Wild. Even his friends and family in Pottsville, PA are stunned. Howie will be checking in via phone with Juan fresh off a heart breaking loss to the Ottawa Lynx.


Howie: Juan, first of all, thank you for joining us. How are you feeling after today's game?


Juan: Frankly, pretty beat down. I won't lie, with such a miracle call to come to Saskatoon, I thought things would come easier. I kind of expected it to be like the movies, right? I get the chance and I just blow the doors down! Nah, it's been...gosh, it's been pretty eye opening. I guess that's what I get for making an assumption. Dad always said that'll just make an ass outta your umptions.

H: I don't think that's how the saying goes, but alright. In today's contest you allowed 6 goals on 34 shots. Would you say this loss has you discouraged? Are you maybe regretting leaving the steel mill? What will you do next?

J: Iron mill. And what else can I do next? It'd be a sour sport that quits after just one bad stretch, right? I'm very thankful for my teammates and my coaches. They've been supporting me every step of the way, especially when it comes to my ol' block-head figuring the ins and outs. Everyone made it clear when I came up that they knew I only had some high school experience under my belt. They're patient with me, and I'm beyond thankful for that. I'm committed one hundred percent to making sure Saskatoon becomes a powerhouse. Our goal scorers are doing amazing, and the d-men in front of me are so good. Now what's left is for me to pick up my share of the load. They're letting me live my dream, so I hope in some way I can help them live theirs.


H: Dreams are well and good Juan but most people come crashing down to reality sooner than later. Do you consider 22 goals in 5 contests is "living the dream?"

J: Oh, by no means! Like I said, I know I have some rust. The only thing I can do is polish it up and see what kind of shine is underneath. It'll take a lot of hard work, but that's fine by me. I prefer to tackle life head first anyway.

H: Wonderful. You've had an interesting life so far, is that right Juan?


J: I'd say up until about a week ago I lived a pretty boring and average life. I can't remember anything too groundbreaking ever happening to me.

H: Well, you know what I meant. Coming from having almost no experience, and now you're up playing in the VHLM. What got you here? Can you tell us a bit about what makes Juan stand out against the other goalies?

J: Oh geez. ...Well. Hm. Well to start, I came from an athletic home. We were tight on money, so we passed the time just by being rambunctious. A LOT of sandlot baseball and street football, haha. I'd say I have a scar from every game we played back then. I did a lot but never found something that stuck. Back then it didn't matter, you know? But one summer, we were watching the VHL and we got the idea to play some street hockey. No pads, full contact. Idiots, haha. I went into goal because no one else wanted to and, well, I loved it. I felt like a mad man! I remember begging my older brother John to stay out past dusk and keep firing that ball at me, I cou-

H: Wait. I'm sorry to interrupt, but did you say John? John Jaundice?

J: Yes?


H: Okay, is this some kind of joke with the names?

J: What do you mean?

H: Ah. Never mind. Continue.

J: ...As I was saying. I couldn't get enough. I tried out for the high school team and, frankly, I was bad. I was pretty stubborn and made some bone headed moves. I rode the pine a lot that first season. Back then, the coaches said I had the fire and the skill to play the game, but I didn't have the brain. Wasn't the first time I'd been accused of lacking up in the old noggin. So the coaches started giving me assignment after assignment. I honestly started to enjoy it! I couldn't stop. I was watching reels and how-to videos constantly. My family joked that I went to my room a gangly kid and emerged 2 years later a hockey nut. I honestly think the turning point was whe-


H: Juan, I'm sorry to interrupt you again but we're running out of time here. Would it be okay if we continued this installment with you? I'm sure everyone would love to hear you finally go into more detail about high school and your statistics there. You're still relatively an enigma to a lot of us.


J: Oh. Oh yeah, I get it. Sure! That'd be cool. I'd basically have my own series, right?

H: Tha-..That's not exactly right, Juan. You see our goal is to cover multiple up and coming players to really corne-


J: Of course I'd love to talk more about this! Anytime you guys want. You just let me know, and I'll be ready! Oh man, that's so cool. Wait until I tell mom and dad!

H: Well there's something to be said for exuberance. Good luck, and we'll keep an eye on you. Until next time: Juan Jaundice, everybody. Have a good night, folks.



(1038 words, using for weeks ending 3/3, and 3/10)



Edited by Jus

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