IRON RIVER—Ally Jo Polich of Iron River was a member of a Michigan North under 19 girls hockey team that was silver medalist during the Meijer State Games, held in late June in the Grand Rapids area.
The 15-year-old, who will start her sophomore year at West Iron County High School this fall, has been playing hockey for eight years. She got interested in the sport after watching her older brother, Tyler, and her twin brother, Jake.
“I spent a few years watching them,” she said, “and after two years I decided I wanted to play.”
She plays both defense and center. “When I play with girls, I play center sometimes. I kind of bounce around.” But she also plays on boys teams, usually on the blue line, and she was part of the first line defense pairing on the North team.
Polich is one of the Wykon athletes who played last winter on the L’Anse co-op varsity hockey team. She also competed in volleyball and track for the Wykons as a freshman.
This summer, Ally Jo is playing on the Northern Wisconsin Blizzards AAA boys travel team (where she is the only girl) and the AAA girls travel team, both based in Minocqua.
In May, she attended tryouts for the Michigan North under 19 girls team in Marquette. “There were girls from all around the U.P.,” she said. “It was like two hours, and then you got a break. Then another two hours.” She later learned that she was one of the 17 players chosen to the team.
Michigan North could only practice together three times before the Meijer State Games started. North played four games and finished in second place: Michigan East took first. “It was really exciting.”
There was another touch of Iron County at the Meijer State Games: Winter Olympian Nick Baumgartner lit the torch at the opening ceremonies.