Going against the norm

Senior Rachel Schumacher has been playing hockey for 15 years


Courtesy of Rachel Schumacher

Rachel Schumacher now plays on Huntley’s Kings hockey team.

By Gretchen Sweeney

Women’s participation in male dominated sports is on its rise. Many women are starting to participate in sports such as wrestling and football, which were exclusively available for men in prior years. 

But for senior Rachel Schumacher, this has been her reality for the last 15 years of her life. 

“I started playing because my brother played and my mom signed me up,” Schumacher said.

Schumacher has played on multiple teams that have been both girls and boys and a girls only team. Schumacher currently plays for Kings hockey. 

“Kings has always been male dominated and she is the only girl that has been on the team for four years,” teammate Kevin Kilanski said. 

Schumacher travels with all her clubs to various locations with her friend, Zoe Suwanski. 

“I have known Rachel for 13 years, my favorite memory was when I went to Iowa with her for her hockey tournament,” Suwanski said. 

Suwanski was Schumacher’s go-to person for trips, because there was a disconnect between her and the boys on the teams. 

“At hockey tournaments I didn’t hang out with the team because I just let them do their thing,” Schumacher said. 

“They are not welcoming to Rachel, because guys and girls hockey is a different level of speed,” Kilanski said.

This disconnect has not stopped her from continuing to play hockey.

When she did switch to a girls team, Glenview Stars, there was a change that was both positive and negative. 

“It was a lot more clicky, but I fit in better,” Schumacher said.

She played with Glenview Stars until her sophomore year. But at the end of the day, Schumacher finds her home and family within these teams for both her teammates from Glenview Stars and Kings. 

“Everybody is there for each other no matter how much you hate someone on the other team,” Schumacher said.