St. Louis area's Christine Raye pulls double duty for Kirkwood youth and high school programs
It’s hard to believe given the amount of hours she devotes to the sport, but not many years ago Raye was, in her words, “flat out new to hockey.” Raye grew up in the western St. Louis suburbs, playing basketball, volleyball and softball at Whitfield School, allowing for precious little time to pay attention to other sports such as hockey. Raye says she was “halfway decent” at volleyball and softball. As for basketball, well, she said she played because she felt she had to because the school was so small (400 students in grades 6 through 12). “In basketball, there was just five of us for many of our games,” Raye said. “I don’t think we won, ever.”
Raye began her crash course in hockey when son Taylor, a high school freshman, first gave the sport a try at the youth levels. Her career as a volunteer for the Kirkwood Youth Hockey Association includes stints running the Learn to Play program and serving as Mini Mites representative. She eventually became a board member in charge of communications and, by default, the website. She helped create the information-packed Learn to Play page that provides in-depth answers to questions such as, “What equipment will my player need?” and, “How do I know my child is ready?” The page also includes a video showing Kirkwood players in action. “The (Learn to Play) page has been absolutely, massively helpful,” Raye said. “I know there is so much on there, but when we started I saw what I didn’t know.” Last year, with Taylor reaching high school, Raye turned her attention to the Kirkwood Pioneer Hockey site. She went from managing communications and the website (she still helps out Kirkwood Youth Hockey as needed) for an organization that served about 500 players to one that has about 50. One of her first tasks was to use her graphic design skills to create the bright red banner and background for the Kirkwood Pioneer site. “I know it’s very red,” she said about the site’s color scheme, “but we are very red.”
Raye loaded up the homepage of the Kirkwood high school site with a 2016-17 highlights video, a graphic depicting Garrett Koob, chosen to serve as next season’s team captain, and a slideshow of the team’s 2017 award recipients. “The kids love it,” Raye said about the steady stream of recognition.
Kirkwood High School alum Michael Davies was a member of this spring’s NCAA Division I national men’s hockey champion Denver Pioneers.