Female player skates up to the puck and accepts the challenge

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Emma Califato

Mejia takes her place and gets ready to play as the face off in front of her begins. On Dec. 13, the monarchs faced off against Beckman high school. “I’m a defensive player [meaning] I don’t really have many opportunities to score goals,” Mejia said. “[My job is] holding back and providing safety for my team.”

Emma Califato and Morgan Healy

With the hockey season in full swing, sophomore Ruby Mejia, the only female player on the inline roller hockey team learns what it means to be part of a team and works hard to reach her goals. Last year, Mejia, with two years of experience, came onto the team as the only freshman.

Mejia started playing hockey when her older brother Daniel Mejia, class of 2018, decided to join the hockey team.

“I wasn’t hesitant [to join the hockey team] because I just wanted to play…” Mejia said. “I knew that they would accept me: they are like my brothers so I was not worried about being the only girl on the team.”

One of Mejia’s coaches, Myra Castro, commented on what it means to be a female coach and how that has helped the hockey team in past years. Castro has been coach of the hockey team for 18 years at Mater Dei and she has experience coaching girls and boys volleyball as well.

“I think it has been really good to have a female moderator coach because I think it’s opened the doors to females playing on the team,” Castro said. “This is something I really love about our team, it’s truly mixed, the majority being boys but we have had four girls on the team last year, which was the most we have ever had.”

Mejia has inspired other girls to join the hockey team. Last year two senior girls, Amanda Campbell and Elisa Mejia, joined during the second semester.

“After a game, three senior girls came up to me with their parents and one of the parents said ‘wow, what you are doing is really cool and it’s really inspiring’,” Mejia said. “…later on

Emma Califato
Sohomore Ruby Mejia stands tall as she represents the only female player on the roller hockey team. “Everyone is getting to know each other and we are more than happy to welcome new people on the team,” Mejia said. “I’m going to tell you, I’m not the best hockey player out there, but it’s about having fun and looking past the competitive things and focusing on being a part of a team.”

they decided to join the team and they told me it was because they saw me playing. They thought it was really courageous.”

Mejia does not want students to fear hockey because of how it is portrayed professionally as being a contact sport.

“One of the main things that discourages a whole bunch of people [from joining the team] is the thought of, ‘oh the guys will hit me or something like that’,” Mejia said. “We can’t have fights in hockey so if it gets to a point where there can possibly be a fight, the players starting violent behavior will get kicked off the rink and they will have consequences. It is a very serious thing, so people don’t have to worry about that, which brings a family dynamic to the team.”

Castro described the goals that she has for the team and what she ultimately wants her team to be able to accomplish.

“I think the biggest goal for us is to have everybody improve because we have so many new players this year,” Castro said. “So far, we have played two games and even from the very first time they stepped out on the rink to the end, you could see improvement. It’s amazing to see that and it gives me a lot of hope.”

As the season progresses, Mejia learns how to juggle hockey with being in the Concert choir group and involved in theatre class. Mejia explained how hockey truly affects her in all aspects of her life.

“Hockey is my outlet, it doesn’t feel like a sport to me, it just feels like fun,” Mejia said. “When I go out and skate, I feel free to do what I love to do.”

Starting the new season off, Mejia came up with some potential goals for herself and the team that she will keep in mind as the season continues.

“One of my major goals is that we become a team you and have that feeling of a family like we did last year,” Mejia said. “I hope that everyone will be accepting of each other, we play well this season, and that I score a couple of goals.”