Ethan Lee Fougner, a 7-year-old hockey player from Valencia, is our May Athlete of the Month.
The call of the ice was so strong for Fougner that his mother, Lori, went into labor while attending a Los Angeles Kings third-round playoff game in May 1993.
Fougner first took group hockey lessons at the North Hills Iceoplex at 2 1/2 years old. His skill and enthusiasm for the game were such that he subsequently joined the Mini Mites and started taking private lessons. Three years later, he moved up to the in-house Mites league.
Fougner's ability to score more than one hat trick per game encouraged his parents to seek a team more in keeping with his skill level. After several tryouts, Fougner was signed to the Ventura Mariners. The second-grader quickly earned the nickname "Bulldog" for his tenacity and played during L.A. Kings intermissions on their last night at the Great Western Forum and first night at Staples Center.
Fougner attends Heschel Day School during the school year and Camp Valley Chai at the North Valley Jewish Community Center during the summer, and he plays baseball and roller hockey for fun. His goal is to be the best hockey player in the NHL, despite people telling him that there aren't many Jewish athletes. Recently, Fougner was inspired when he read in the March 23 Jewish Journal that Kings defenseman Mathieu Schneider is Jewish.
Keep an eye out for this hat-trick superstar.
The Journal will regularly feature coverage of sports in the Jewish community in these pages.
We will feature profiles of local athletes and major sports figures, standings and news for local Maccabi, school and intramural teams, and stories that focus on issues surrounding sports in the community.
Please send your team scores and news to Ari Morguelan, who will coordinate our sports coverage.
To submit story ideas, scores, team news and suggestions for "Athlete of the Week," contact Ari at (213) 368-1661 ext. 107, fax him at (213) 368-1684 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now play ball!