Northern Star: Ryan Gray

The Proctor/Hermantown goalie has been a key part of the program for the past six years.

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – Ryan Gray has given Proctor/Hermantown a sense of security in net for the past six years, as she’s climbed from a middle school player on junior varsity to the senior starting goalie.

“So she started out, I think in seventh grade, as a JV goalie and played for a few years there and then slowly moved her way into the varsity position. She’s turned into one of the better goalies in Northern Minnesota,” head coach Glen Gilderman said.

And Gray has come a long way to where she is today. Joining the high school junior varsity team as a seventh grader and playing some time in varsity during eighth grade can be a tough task, but Gray was ready for the adjustment.

“I’ve always wanted to play at a higher level so it’s always kind of been something that I’ve wanted to do. I was friends with the girls that were a grade above me, I had played with them since U10’s so it wasn’t really any different, it was kind of being on the same team as everyone,” Gray said.

Since joining varsity, the coaches have seen Gray became a quiet leader for the other goalies and the rest of the team.

“Ryan doesn’t say a whole lot but when she does say something, everybody listens to her. And she has that, she’s just been a steady influence, she knows the program and knows what our expectations are she has really high expectations too,” Gilderman said.

And they’ve seen her grow as a goalie to help the team when they need it most.

“One of the biggest things about her is she doesn’t get rattled. If she gets scored on, she lets it go right away and gets ready for the next play, which is a good thing because if a goalie gets rattled, that’s not good for the team,” Gilderman added.

Her calmness in net has given the Mirage some confidence over the years as Gray and her team have made it to state three times during her six years. Now she’s ready to make one more trip back and create more memories with the mirage.

“State last year was a lot of fun. Everyone was really close and we all just kind of got to hang around each other for that extra week so it was fun playing there too,” Gray said.

While Gray is starting to think about what’s next, she’ll miss the program that has meant so much to her all of these years.

“Just kind of like another family. Like everyone’s pretty close…Just being on the ice and playing with the group of girls that we have right now,” Gray added.

But she’ll enjoy these moments before she finally hangs up the Mirage uniform.

Categories: High School, Northern Star, Sports