Alum Chayla Edwards currently plays for the University of Wisconsin in the WCHA. She recently completed her first year with the Badgers and lead all freshman defenseman on her team in scoring.
We caught up to chat about her time in the Pens Elite program and how she has adjusted to being a student athlete at the University of Wisconsin.
Photo Credit - Kai Martin
It was a tough adjustment at first because with PPE I was used to being a leader and people looked up to me. Going to Wisconsin was tough because I had to get used to a whole different routine, a new set of teammates, and a new playing style and speed. I enjoyed the challenge though and now I feel a lot more comfortable with my teammates and my environment.
It helped me tremendously. Being with PPE basically all of my hockey career has allowed me to form bonds and connections with many of my teammates and coaches. There were a lot of times when I leaned on them to help me get better and to improve my game a lot. They really brought out the best in me and pushed me to be the best I could be. I’m really grateful I had that support system to get me where I am today.
Some suggestions I have is push yourself and don’t ever give up. There were times when I thought all this work is not going to get me to where I wanna be, but I pushed through that negative mindset and continued to work towards my goals. Another suggestion I have is to not compare yourself or your progress to other people. Constantly comparing yourself to others may cloud your vision of your own goals. Just keep working on your own skill set and only compare yourself to where you were before. It’ll go a long way!
My favorite memory playing for PPE was the second time we made to national championship with the U16 team. We beat mission in a shootout, and even better we beat Shattuck in the semi finals. Even though we lost in the championship it was such a fun and amazing journey to get there.
My favorite teammate is Maddie Posick because she is always cheering on our team no matter what. We look to her for encouragement in tough situations and she never fails to bring energy to our team.
A typical day goes like this: I wake up for class anywhere between 7 and 9 am. I get ready and then go to class. After class I may get time to rest or I go straight to the rink. We workout and then practice on the ice. Two days a week I’ll have class after practice. After that I’ll eat dinner and then do homework. There isn’t much free time but I love being at the rink with my teammates, it’s the highlight of my day.
My favorite pregame meal is breakfast. I love breakfast! I’ll have scrambled eggs, oatmeal or toast, and then some protein (bacon or sausage).
My favorite rink to play at is LaBahn, our home ice in Wisconsin. The crowd there is amazing. The energy and support they give there is definitely one of a kind and you won’t find that anywhere else.
My least favorite rink to play at is probably Ohio State. Besides the fact that they’re one of our biggest rivals, the rink is small and and uneven, the locker rooms are cramped, and the boards have lots of weird bounces.