MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you spent any time on Twitter Sunday, you already know this next story: Edina forward Kevin Delaney played a pivotal role last weekend when Edina won the state title in boys’ hockey.
But as David McCoy tells us, what might be even more impressive was his road to get there. And it’s a story every young athlete should hear.
“Playing in the state championship’s something everybody’s dreamed of, every hockey player has dreamed of,” Delaney said.
But Delaney would tell you, to be totally honest, he never thought he’d actually be the one playing in that dream.
Spend as much time as he did in the levels of hockey he did, you learn to temper your expectations.
When asked if he would’ve guessed that in his senior year of high school, he’s have a goal and assist in the state championship, he said: “I would’ve said, ‘are you kidding?’”
Delaney’s been skating since he was 2 years old, playing for Edina since age 5. But he never made an AA or even A team growing up. In Pee Wees, he made the B2 team two years in a row.
So, that’s that fourth-best team. Same thing his first year of Bantams, then B1 his second year. His freshman year of high school, he played Junior Gold, which is a step below Junior Varsity.
But what kept him coming back, despite always playing in the lowest levels?
“Obviously, just because I love the game of hockey. And it’s so fun to come to the rink no matter what team you’re on. Hockey is hockey,” he said.
After his sophomore and junior year on JV, he finally made Varsity as a senior and blossomed. He had 35 points in 31 games, including a critical goal and assist in the state title game, helping his team win it all.
His story caught traction the next day on social media and the tweet went bonkers — retweeted several hundred times.
“I saw it and I was like, wow, this is a huge honor,” he said.
His story resonated with a lot of people, an example of what can happen when you keep working hard and don’t give up on your dreams. And how much that can inspire others.
“It’s still, like, crazy to me. I’m still in shock. Because I’ve always looked up to players in Edina and stuff, and for people to be looking up to me and my teammates is just incredible. So I was, yeah, still shocked,” he said.
But he hopes people understand that can be their story, too.