Athlete Spotlight: Abby Newhook

Athlete Spotlight: Abby Newhook

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Ahead of the 2018 NL Winter Games in Deer Lake, Abby Newhook of St. John’s, makes a name for herself and commits to Boston College

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There’s no shortage of hockey stars spooling out of Newfoundland and Labrador, with the Newhook siblings, Alex and Abby, making impressive moves on and off the ice.

Abby Newhook, who currently plays for the St. John’s Bantam AAA Hitmen, continues to excel and has accepted an offer to attend Boston College on a full scholarship to play for the Eagles in the school’s Division One women’s hockey program.

Abby follows in her brother’s footsteps – Alex has also committed to Boston College and will be at the school as early as 2019 –  with her first year being 2021.

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The 14-year-old is currently in Grade 9 at Macdonald Drive Junior High, Captain for all Hitmen road games and living in St. John’s with her parents Shawn and Paula Newhook. Her brother Alex resides in Victoria, BC playing for the Victoria Grizzlies. With an athletic upbringing, it’s no shock that Abby Newhook excels in multiple sports, especially ice hockey. 

The Newfoundland Herald caught up with Newhook ahead of her participation at the 2018 NL Winter Games in Deer Lake for a special sports profile.

“My dad plays rec hockey and stuff now, but he use to be involved a lot more with hockey when he was younger. My mom, she’s a marathon runner, so she’s involved in our hockey a lot, but she doesn’t play or anything herself. Everyone is kind of sports oriented though,” Newhook explained in an interview with The Newfoundland Herald.

Role Models

Her mom, Paula, has completed a number of marathons, including the New York City Marathon, Berlin Marathon, and the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon. It’s no doubt that her parents are excellent influences, and make fantastic role models for the young star, but they’re not the only influences.

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“I obviously look up to my brother a lot, always have,” Newhook shared. “One of the girls on Team Canada, Hayley Wickenheiser, she’s the one I’ve looked up to my whole life. She’s done so much for the sport, and being Captain of Team Canada and everything, I look up to her a lot.”

Newhook had to grow up tough, not only because she has an older brother, but by playing alongside the guys in boys hockey and proving that being talented has nothing to do with gender, it simply comes down to dedication, commitment, and skill.

“I played boys hockey my entire life because there’s not much girls hockey here at a high level. I started playing hockey when I was around three, and then I played with the guys basically ever since,” Newhook explained.

“I was never treated differently, they just treat me like one of the guys. I’ve always known that if I’m gonna play boys hockey then I’d have to play like one of them, and I’m gonna be treated like one of the guys and they respect that. They treat me like anyone else on the team, if not even better sometimes.”

One of the Guys 

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Still playing with the guys, the St. John’s Hitmen just finished up their regular season and will be heading to playoffs in about two weeks, followed by provincials. They’ve been chosen to host the 2018 Bantam AAA Atlantic Hockey Championships in April.

“Last summer I was down looking at some of the schools like Providence and Northeastern, but my brother is committed to Boston College and so I wanted to go there after him. Honestly I wanted to go to Boston College before him. He kind of stole my idea,” Newhook laughed.

“That’s where I’ve always wanted to go and it kind of worked out that he’s going there which is great. We’re close, and we’ve gotten a lot closer over the years. I think especially since he’s been away, when he comes home it’s really special.”

While Newhook won’t be attending Boston College for another few years, there’s a good chance that she’ll be heading stateside before then, as she’s hoping to attend prep school in the Boston area.

“Next year I’m gonna go to prep school. After that, Boston College, and also next year hopefully get invited to Canada’s U18 team, like national tryouts. After that, just go from there. It’s a lot of work yeah, but I’m ready to work for it. It’s a lot of commitment, but I really want to do it.”

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