Junior Bradyn Holmes moves the puck up the ice during a recent game. 
Photo courtesy of Bradyn Holmes
Junior Bradyn Holmes moves the puck up the ice during a recent game. Photo courtesy of Bradyn Holmes

Holmes in the Rink

Junior Bradyn Holmes adjusts to his new life in Elkhorn


Hockey has been junior Bradyn Holmes’ life ever since he was little. In fact, he would spend hours at the rink practicing with his team and doing workouts, all while doing online school. His dad majorly influenced him to play.

“I have been surrounded by hockey my entire life and it is something I am good at. My dad played professionally and I just want to follow in his footsteps.” Holmes said.

Holmes found out about this team through a family friend who used to help out with the Omaha Mastery hockey team. He decided he wanted to try out for the team.

“He told us he was the best coach he had ever helped with. He told me to try out and last year I did,” Holmes said. “I made it and I liked it so I decided to stay with this team.”

Because Holmes is a part of the Omaha Mastery hockey team, he had to move from Westview, Indiana to Omaha. Under the billeting program, he is able to live with another hockey family, the Strohmans.

“We love having Bradyn at the house. He is a great kid and blends in great with our boys and the other billets.” Jessica Strohman said. 

It can be a big adjustment for players so sometimes accommodations have to be made in order for them to feel comfortable.

“We made a bedroom in our basement for the boys so they have their own space when it gets too loud upstairs,” Mrs. Strohman said. “Bradyn is an only child so moving in with four other boys was a big change for him.”

Holmes moved in with them last year and over time, he has created a strong bond with the Strohman family. Since he is not with his family back in Indiana, he has grown closer with the Strohmans.

“I have been there for a year already so I view them as an extension of my family,” Holmes said. “They treat me like I am one of their kids and Tommy, Brian, and Brody treat me like a sibling.”

It is definitely a change for the Strohman brothers as well. Having another person in the house can be tough, but they all have become like family.

“The billeting program is cool because of how they move here and then become a part of your family,” senior Tommy Strohman said. “He is basically my brother now.”

They are giving Holmes the support he needs so that he can perform well and still feel like he has someone there for him while he is away from home. 

“When he played on Tommy’s team, we were at every game. This year they are on different teams so it depends on the scheduling,” Mrs. Strohman said. “We also try to watch online when we can not be there.”

Holmes also had to adjust from switching from online school to starting school at Elkhorn High. It is a very different atmosphere because of being surrounded by new people and it is a different learning environment.

“Online was easy but I did not learn anything. I was with my teammates most of the time which makes it easy to get tired of them,” Holmes said. “In school, I feel like I am actually learning and it is nice to be around new people.”

Holmes has adjusted very well over the last year and is continuing to be a great player and roommate to the Strohmans.

“I think having him around has created friendships among our boys and he has become a part of our family.” Mrs. Strohman said.

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Skye Dixon
Skye Dixon, Web Manager
Skye is a junior and serves as a web manager for the Antler Express. This is her second year on staff.
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