COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — What are the odds that any couple would have six children, all of them girls? And what are the odds that those six girls, between the ages of 5 and 18, would all play hockey?
That’s exactly the scenario for Doc DelCastillo and his wife, Sue. It’s a situation where dad is a hockey coach and mom is the family’s head coach.
It’s game day for the Hamline University men’s hockey team and their coach is in his comfort zone, being involved in the game he loves.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to make hockey to get paid for a passion,” said DelCastillo.
It’s game night at Coon Rapids High School, and Doc DelCastillo is there for another reason. He’s got three daughters on the varsity team for the Cardinals, and that’s just the beginning. He and his wife, Sue, have six daughters, and all six play hockey.
The oldest is a senior in high school, but all of them play hockey. That’s right, there’s basically an entire team under one roof, and they’re coached by dad, well at least just a little.
“I’m critical at times. For them to have the love for hockey and all of them to play, it’s something that’s special for me to be able to share it with them,” DelCastillo said.
But make no mistake, the head coach in the home is mom, who keeps hockey schedules. It can be a bit overwhelming, but hockey every day and night is a way of life that becomes such a part of their fabric. It’s almost a daily diet.
“I have a color coded calendar that I have everybody’s schedule every day put on there so I know who needs to be where and when,” said Sue DelCastillo. “With the hockey community here, they’ve been a big help.”
This family is closer because of the sport, because they speak the same language. That’s also the energy that prevents the burn out.
“About February it gets to be a long season,” Sue said. “Come this fall, about October, I’ll be waiting and anxious for it to start.”
The down side is this is a rare night, when all are gathered and doing what else: Watching hockey. It keeps an intense college coach grounded, able to leave his profession behind and understand what’s at home.
“The good Lord has blessed us. We love our family and we have a great family,” Doc DelCastillo said. “It’s definitely fun.”
And that’s what comes out of your time around this family, the hectic pace is not a burden, the organizational skills are not cumbersome and the real joy is a chaotic journey.
“It’s incredible. We just go to bed at night and thank God,” Sue DelCastillo said.
Embracing that philosophy, life has meaning and life has joy. Life is filled with gratitude.
“Truly blessed and feel very fortunate to meet the wife that I have and have the children that I do,” Doc DelCastillo said. “It’s a fantastic way to make a living.”