Steamboat Springs There are no doubts that 14-year-old Emily Harris’ future is in hockey.
The rising Soroco High School freshman spent the better part of eight months traversing the country playing with the Colorado Select Girls U-14 AAA team, which finished seventh at this year’s national tournament.
Her weekends were filled with trips to Denver for practice or games and national tournaments in Boston, Detroit, Connecticut, California, St. Louis and Wisconsin.
“I love to travel,” said Harris, who in addition to playing on the Colorado Select team also played with a Midget A boys team in Vail. “I love traveling, especially with my teammates. They’re the greatest group of girls I could ask for. It was the perfect year for me, I think.”
It’s certainly paid off.
In addition to being one of the youngest girls to get an invite to the High Altitude Girls Elite Camp in Boulder this weekend, Harris also will attend a national, invite-only camp in Rochester, N.Y., in late July.
The camp in Rochester will be attended by a plethora of college and prep school coaches from across the country and is where players start to get evaluated for college- and national-level programs.
Harris had to go to a state camp and then district camp to get the invite to the Rochester camp.
At the district camp in Salt Lake City, Harris competed with more than 40 players from six states to get one of seven positions at the camp.
“I wasn’t very confident the first two ice times,” Harris said about the Salt Lake City camp. “Then, I started getting comfortable with the coaches. Then, I just did my thing.”
Harris, a forward, learned to skate in preschool. From there, a friend inspired her to play. She has played in Oak Creek and then for the Vail boys team the past several years. As a freshman this year, Harris plans to participate in track and field for the Rams and try out for the Denver U-14 team again.
“She’s a great player,” said Rich Smith, the director of coaching for the Colorado Select team. “She’s very gritty and isn’t afraid to mix it up with players. We love having her. Just the fact that she made the national camp says a lot about her as a player.”
Smith, who served as an assistant coach this past year for the Colorado Select, said Harris’ career would go as far as she wants it to.
And according to Harris, that next goal is to play college hockey.
“I want to go as far as I can,” she said. “At least college hockey for sure and maybe coaching after I’m done with college. It’s all about having fun, though. When you have fun, you’re usually doing well.”