Home Girls/Womens 2 Cousins To Face Each Other In Section VI WNYGVIHF Championship Game

2 Cousins To Face Each Other In Section VI WNYGVIHF Championship Game

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BY RANDY SCHULTZ –

On Monday, Feb. 12 KenGIPort plays Niagara County for the Section VI WNYGVIHF championship. For two players, one from each team, it is more than just a championship game.

A little less than two weeks ago two cousins, playing on two different girls high school hockey teams, faced each other for the first time in on-ice competition.

On one side was Maddie Martin, a seventh grader in the Edward Town Middle School (Niagara Wheatfield School system) and a forward for the Niagara County Warriors. On the other was Teagan Willats, a tenth grader at Grand Island High School and a forward for the Kenmore/Grand Island/Lockport (or better known as KenGIPort) girl’s hockey team.

Each of the players had interesting thoughts before they faced each other.

“I think it’s nice to see her on the ice because she has been like a role model for me growing up,” said Maddie regarding her cousin, Teagan. “She’s played hockey for awhile too.

“It’s nice to have another girl in the family who plays hockey as well.”

Maddie has been playing hockey since the age of three.

“I love the game a lot,” continued Maddie, the daughter of Alyssa Collins and Robert Martin. “It’s a game that makes me feel happy.”

Maddie also plays travel hockey for the Wheatfield Blades. She also plays softball, flag football and will be trying lacrosse for the first time this year.

The seventh grader plays on the girl’s high school hockey team that has players that are a year to five years older than her.

“It’s nice and it helps me improve my game,” stated Maddie. “But they are also like role models to me.

“They treat me well and make me always feel a part of the team.”

Teagan, who is three years older than her younger cousin, likes the idea of playing against Maddie.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” remarked Teagan. “I’ve never gotten the opportunity to play against somebody related to me before.

“Most of them who play hockey are boys. But I’m glad to see the younger girls playing hockey and that girls hockey is growing.”

Interestingly, it was one of Teagan’s older male cousins that gave her the idea of playing hockey. But it is another female in her life that has been her inspiration.

“I try to be like my mom,” continued Teagan, the daughter of Brian and Jen Willats. “She’s my inspiration.

“She was a softball player and a real good athlete. I look up to her.”

On her KenGIPort team, Teagan has players younger and older than her.

“I think of myself as a leader on the team,” said Teagan, who also plays volleyball and lacrosse. “I started playing on the high school team when I was in seventh grade.

“This is my fourth year on team. Being on the team for so many years I try and lead by example.”

Hockey is a big part of Teagan’s life.

“It gives me something to look forward to,” commented Teagan. “And I think I’ve grown as a person because of it.”

Now, less than two weeks after facing each other for the first time in girl’s high school hockey, the two cousins will face each other again.

This time it will be for the Section VI girl’s varsity high school ice hockey championship: Niagara County vs. KenGIPort on Monday, Feb. 12.

(Photos by Janet Schultz Photography/NY Hockey OnLine)