When Griffin Dyka, president of the Drake Hockey Club, transferred to Drake from Creighton University, he was looking forward to one thing: continuing to play hockey. When he realized there wasn’t a team on campus, he saw it as an opportunity to start a club team.
“Drake makes it pretty easy to get a club team started,” Dyka said. “I just love hockey and I wanted to keep playing.”
Starting a club sport still comes with challenges. Dyka said the biggest challenge for a sport like hockey is the money, and that’s why he started a GoFundMe page for the team.
“We’re going to get a pretty good amount from the student senate, but it’s still an expensive sport,” Dyka said. “We have to pay for game uniforms, practice uniforms, the head coach, ice times, travel expenses and more.”
The money is not all that is important to the new club. Sean Sommerness, a member of the executive council for the Drake Hockey Club, said that it could have a great impact on the Drake community.
“Any students here that are fans of hockey can have a team to cheer for,” Sommerness said. “It can also help spread the game through Des Moines and get more kids involved in hockey.”
In addition to getting more kids involved, Dyka said he is hoping to get more students involved, too.
“Right now we have about 20-23 guys,” Dyka said. “We’re always looking for more. Usually, 20 is about the number on a team, but we aren’t going to make any cuts this year because we are new. If I go up to someone right now and go ‘Hey, do you know about the hockey team?’ they will probably say no.”
As of the publication of this story, the club is still unofficial and pending approval from the Drake Student Senate, but Dyka said he is confident that it will get approved because of the backing it already has.
“Anne Kremer is the Dean of Admissions, and she’s the one signing off on it, so it’s not a normal faculty member,” Dyka said. “She said there are a lot of admissions benefits so that helps our case a lot.”
Dyka said that because the club is new they won’t be playing a lot of games this year, so he hopes new students who may not know the sport as well will take the opportunity to get to know it.