SOL Magazine Spring 2023

2019 alumni versus student hockey game

When Trevor Jones ’09 J.D. was admitted to the University of St. Thomas School of Law, he thought it was missing one thing: a hockey team. As a life-long hockey player, Jones recognized that his passion for the sport could help balance the academic rigors of law school. When Jones began his 1L year, he found he was in good company— there were enough hockey players on campus to start a team. In early winter 2006, Jones and several classmates formed the Fightin’ Apostles Hockey Team, a co-ed student club that has operated continuously ever since. The inaugural team played in a Sunday afternoon league and established the Golden Gavel hockey tournament along with other local law schools. “We tried to make it a team that the law school community could come and watch when we had events or bigger games—something outside of academia that the students could rally around,” Jones said. Over time, the team also began hosting student-versus-alumni games to build community between present and past players. After nearly two decades of Fightin’ Apostles hockey, current players and alumni say that the sport

offers lessons and opportunities well beyond the ice: friendships, work/life balance, community connections, professional development and more. Fightin’ Apostles players resoundingly agree that the best part of playing on the team is developing relationships outside of academics and across graduating classes. For 2L Stella Haberman, playing hockey, “is a great way to find balance and meet other students. We bond over the sport we love. They understand my hip and shoulder pain!” Jones echoes, “As is true with most experiences being on a hockey team, the locker room is what I remember the most. It’s where we were able to meet new people and cultivate friendships. Even as alumni, we can meet up once a year and pick up right where we all left off.” Josh Damberg ’17 J.D. shares a similar sentiment, “One of the best parts of playing for the team was sharing a hobby/passion with my classmates. It was a great mental escape from case law and statutes.” Adam Brown ’06 J.D., who was in the last semester of his 3L year when the team began, recalls how that season helped him feel grounded.

“The Fightin’ Apostles team is a great way to connect with people, especially from other class years,” he said. “During law school, it gave me something familiar to do. I did not have any family or friends who were lawyers, and law school was completely new for me. I knew how to hack around on the ice, though, and it helped me feel more at home.” Zach Graham ’18 J.D. agrees that playing provided “a great outlet and some familiarity to do something I’ve been doing my whole life when everything else in law school was so new.” For those who grew up playing hockey in Minnesota, the so-called State of Hockey, and elsewhere, the sport fosters a deep affection for the state. “[The team] adds a crucial part of Minnesota culture to an already strong St. Thomas Law community,” says 3L Josh Bykowski, a current team captain. “Hockey holds a special place in our culture,” comments Jones, “I feel more connected to being a Minnesotan as a hockey player.” Damberg describes the team as “creating a uniquely Minnesotan social and professional network.”

Hockey Offers Lessons for Life and the Law


Second-year law students and current Fightin’ Apostles team members Davis Cheney, John Greniuk and Dan Condon. on.

Page 28 St. Thomas Lawyer

Spring 2023 Page 29

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