There are five of them, including three defensemen and two forwards. The siblings range in age from 10 to 21. There are three boys and two girls. They are the Headrick hockey family from just outside Sault Ste. Marie on Garden River First Nation.
The youngest of the Headrick siblings, 10-year old Evan, is showing offensive skills as a right-handed shooting forward within the Soo Pee Wee Hockey League.
Evan is playing with the Soo Jr. Greyhounds atom major AA team while looking forward to outdoor activity once the family rink is ready for use when the below zero, winter weather arrives.
As Evan is the youngest in the Headrick hockey habitat, 21-year old Owen is the oldest and best known.
From his time as a standout defenseman with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Owen has since gone on to play parts of three seasons with the Lake Superior State University Lakers of the Division 1, Western Collegiate Hockey Association and parts of two more with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.
Owen is now back in school as a first year player with the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers of Atlantic University Sport. UPEI is a haven for former OHL players including Headrick’s fellow first year teammates, left wingers Troy Lajeunesse and Luke Kirwan and defenseman Doug Blaisdell.
Lajeunesse finished up his lengthy OHL career with Headrick in Erie in 2017-2018. Kirwan most recently played in the OHL with the Flint Firebirds while Blaisdell graduated the league as a member of the Sudbury Wolves.
In between Owen and Evan on the Headrick kids birth chart are 19-year old Jana, 16-year old Nathan and 13-year old Mya.
Jana is a third year defenseman with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues of the Ontario University Sport women’s program.
Nathan is a defensemen with the St. Mary’s Knights of the Sault Ste. Marie high school hockey loop after spending last season with the Soo Minor Thunderbirds of the Great North Midget Hockey League.
And Mya is a bantam-aged forward who is playing up a level with the Sault Ste. Marie Wildcats midget AA team that competes against the top female competition in Ontario and elsewhere.
Having five hockey playing kids with parents who both work full-time jobs means a lot of planning and juggling for 44-year old Dave Headrick and his no doubt, better half, 43-year old wife, Anne.
Dave, who was a goalie during his playing days — he played at the major midget level in Sault Ste. Marie before going on to tend twine on the junior stage with the Chatham Maroons — told Hockey News North that Anne is the organized one of the husband-wife duo.
“She plans everything and makes up a schedule of who is playing where and when,” Dave relayed.
“I kind of fly by the seat of my pants and am a pretty last minute kind of guy,” Dave added, with a laugh. “Like, I will be leaving for work on a Friday morning and Anne has to remind me that we are headed out of town that night to watch one of the kids play the next day.
“Then I am wondering to myself where we are going and which one of the kids we are going to see play so I just check the calendar on the fridge,” Dave added, with another chuckle.
Asked to describe what it is like being a hockey dad to five kids, Dave instantly replied: “busy.”
Reflecting on last season alone, Dave said he and/or Anne spent an average of three weekends a month out of town watching their kids play hockey.
“It is a lot of miles on the road and a lot of nights in a hotel but we love it,” he said, matter of factly.
It helps that Dave and Anne are both big hockey fans.
“Hockey is pretty much all we do … it’s our social life,” said Dave. “We have been all over the place … Erie, Buffalo, Chicago, Toronto, Windsor … but all we really see are rinks. Hockey is our vacation time.”
Being busy is good for the marriage, Dave noted.
“One of the best things about being hockey parents to five kids is that Anne and I are too busy to argue with one another,” Dave concluded, with another good natured laugh.
PHOTO: 10-year old Evan is the youngest of hockey playing Headrick family.