Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 6:11 PM on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Erik Rosencrans: skillful hockey player is friendly, too

By Lindsay Johnson
Staff Writer


Photo by Magic Moments Photography

Erik Rosencrans leads the Mariner hockey team with season goals. The junior is a skillful, thoughtful player.

Erik Rosencrans said he was pretty bad at skating when he started out at 4 years old, but his abilities have obviously grown up with him.

The 16-year-old, 6-foot-1-inch junior at Homer High School is a leading member of the Mariners hockey team.

"Erik started the season as one of our top five athletically in our baseline conditioning tests. He is one of the strongest players on the team," said Coach Buck Laukitis, who's been Rosencrans' high school coach the past three years.

Rosencrans has played hockey with the Glacier Kings Homer Hockey Association teams since he was 6.

Rosencrans credits his older brother and father, who also were high school hockey players, with motivating him over the years.

"He's a great kid and a dedicated athlete. He just lives for the sport; he loves it. He doesn't look at it as work," said Rosencrans' dad, Randy.

Junior Rosencrans loves how fast-paced hockey is. He says it's the most fun sport to watch and can sometimes even be found playing it on the Xbox.

"I like it cause it's a really unique sport," said Rosencrans. He said hockey relies on a lot of different skills, such as coordination, strength and skating ability.

Laukitis and players agree that Rosencrans, sometimes called Rosie or Rose, has those skills.

"He's really good at controlling the puck," said Asa Stage, the team captain.

"He's a good skater, too. He actually leads the team in goals. He definitely knows how to find the back of the net."

Laukitis said Rosencrans is patient, doesn't cough up the puck and makes good passes.

"He has developed really nice hands since the second half of last season. He is a good stick handler."

Rosencrans plays the same line with his close friend, Carson Duggar.

"We were recently put together and scored a lot of the goals passing to each other. It seems to work out well," Duggar said.

"He plays his position well and makes hard, crisp passes. He has a hard shot, a nice slap shot. He's good on his feet," he said.

Hockey also takes mental energy, which Rosencrans puts to work.

"One of the things I appreciate is he asks questions during games about different situations. His hockey skills and his hockey sense keep improving, and he is handling more and more responsibility. He's definitely seen as a leader on the team," Laukitis said.

Stage said Rosencrans has good ideas about how to lead the team and that he pays attention to what's going on in the game.

"He always has his head up and looking around," he said.

Besides hockey, Rosencrans has run track and played football for the Mariners. Football Coach Cam Wyatt said that while Rosencrans is a better hockey player, he's a valuable part of the football team.

"You can count on that kid. You can guarantee that when you throw that ball he's going to be in proximity and make the catch. He uses his strengths," Wyatt said.

"He has always been polite, always been focused, always given me 100 percent of his ability and his attention."

Wyatt said Rosencrans made a couple of "outrageously beautiful" catches during the 2010 football season.

"He did the twinkle toes highlight reel catch during the Nikiski game. I love that kid. My props are for him."

Pam Newton, the high school athletic director, said Rosencrans is a great addition to her classroom, too.

"He's probably one of the most polite young men," she said. "He's just very sweet, very respectful and a real pleasure to have in class."

Rosencrans' hockey buddies say he's fun, too.

"He's pretty jolly and funny," Duggar said.

"He makes you feel good to be around and he makes the right choices," Stage said. "He doesn't brag at all. He's just a nice guy."