Juneau-Douglas senior right defenseman Taylor Lehnhart is a key component of the Crimson Bears' back line of defense, but is probably best known for his job as the goalkeeper for the reigning state champion boys' soccer team.
Lehnhart was named to the All-State tournament team last spring as a junior for his shutdown performance in the state tournament. Lehnhart, also a three-time school-wide dodgeball champion, values his time spent outdoors and has a passion for the field of marine biology. He said while he's not planning on playing hockey at the college level, he definitely expects to keep skating and looks forward to playing in an adult league when he gets older.
When did you start playing hockey?
"I didn't really start playing until the rink opened. I used to skate on the lakes, but I never really played full hockey until the rink opened in 2000 or 2001, I think."
You're a goalie for soccer but not for hockey. What played into that decision?
"I thought that playing on the ice was more fun. My dad told me he didn't want me playing goalie because I already played it in a sport, and he wanted me to get out and get more exercise rather than just sitting back there."
What is the difference in preparing for a soccer game compared to hockey?
"I find preparing for a soccer game to be more difficult for me because I can't make mistakes. If I make a mistake, they score. It's more of a mental game, I guess. In hockey, I have someone behind me who can back me up, so I can take a few more chances. But (hockey) is a little harder physically. I prepare for them in two completely different ways. For a hockey game I get more pumped up and for soccer I take more of a silent approach where I try to see what I need to fix to get myself ready for the game."
How do you like to spend your free time when you're not playing sports?
"I like spending time outside. I like to camp, fish, and my family has a cabin where I like to spend time. During the summer I commercial fish, which I like, but my life's mostly soccer, hockey and school."
What are your academic interests?
"Science classes have always been my favorite. I definitely want to look into a field of marine biology or something related to oceanography because that's what I 'm interested in right now. I like to get my hands dirty, so I hope to do something that's out in the field rather than in an office.
"I went to a camp, two summers ago where I got to go to an island in Bristol Bay called Ground Island, and I studied walruses and marine wildlife on the island. That was a really cool experience to spend a week out there with a few other students to learn about what the scientists out there do. It was really interesting to be able to experience what I may be possibly doing when I grow up."
What are your plans for next year?
"I plan to go to college. I'm looking at Quest University, UAF, Whitworth and University of New England. Those are my top four, but I'm also looking at Evergreen in Washington.
"I'd like to play soccer in college, though some of those schools either don't have a soccer team, or in Quest's case, can only have three players from outside of Canada. I'd like to have at least some sports opportunity where I can play intramurals or something. I definitely want them to have a science program, a marine program and also an exchange program, because I think doing a study abroad would be pretty cool. It's important to me that they have a science program that goes out and does hands-on lab work instead of just lecturing."