Libertyville High grad matures into solid TCU hockey player
Bryan Constable has found his new hockey home deep in the heart of Texas.
Constable, an alumnus of the Libertyville and Vernon Hills hockey program, is now a high-scoring player in his second season playing for the fledgling program at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
As of Nov. 10, according to HornedFrogsHockey.com, Constable was fourth on the team, with nine points in 10 games, which included being third on the team in assists, with six, and tied for third with three goals.
Last season, Constable tied for fifth on the squad, with 16 points, including four goals and 12 assists.
Constable told the Lake County Gazette in an email interview that the TCU program started about four or five years ago. He was told by some teammates that they used to play full-roster teams while TCU had a roster of seven players.
“It’s a little challenging playing with a young program because this is the first year we actually have a decent-size roster, but when injuries come into play it's difficult to play games with nine and 10 guys,” Constable said. “But I will say no matter what numbers we have going into the game, this group of guys goes out and competes every night in and out, and I love that.”
TCU's online roster indicates that the Horned Frogs play other in-state schools such as Texas Tech, North Texas and the University of Texas.
Constable said he was drawn to TCU by family and academics.
“My dad went to grad school here, and I have a lot of family down here, and I wanted to go to a school where I could potentially play, and TCU is a great school academically, so it seemed like TCU had everything I wanted,” he said.
The transition from high-school-level hockey to a college program was “a little different,” he said.
“I had surgery after my senior year (at Libertyville High School), and once I was cleared by a doctor, I immediately had to start working and skating, so I could keep up, but it wasn’t too bad,” he said.
Constable's growth as a player in college has been in the areas of maturity and focus.
“I think I have matured more in the sense where in high school, I would take stupid penalties out of frustration, whereas now, I'm so focused on the team and winning that I know if I take a penalty, it affects everything, and so I've been more disciplined,” he said.
The ice time came early for Constable, who said he began playing hockey at the age of 5 and started skating younger than that. He said his dad had him try the sport out, and he ended up loving it.
“It’s a team sport; rarely can one person carry a team to a championship,” Constable said. “You can have players that are much better than the rest of the team and dominate game play, but rarely can they win a championship without a solid squad behind them, and I love that.”
Constable said he would love to coach one day -- perhaps high-school hockey or possibly a travel team.
“I have a lot of experience, and I love the game and don’t want it to end after college, but we will see,” he said.