Athlete of the Issue: Charlton McArdle Is a Master of the “Tough Game”

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Jack Tempone “Hockey is a tough game.”- Bobby Orr Bobby Orr, the “Boston hero,” spent the majority of his career playing with the Boston Bruins, Charlton McArdle’s hometown team. For McArdle, hockey has been his life since he was 4 years old. When he lived in Connecticut, he started with a program called “Learn to Skate” and his love for the game blossomed from there, even though his parents had never touched a hockey puck in their lives. He continued his passion for hockey in Chicago when he joined the Saddle Club until third grade, then joined the Chicago Jets. He played with the Jets until he joined the Latin Varsity team as a freshman. Although he didn’t start hockey in earnest until the ninth grade, McArdle has been playing sports for his whole life. “I played a little soccer as a kid, basketball all of middle school, baseball as a freshman, and then I joined the lacrosse team sophomore year,” McArdle said. But even though he played a variety of sports leading up to where he is now, hockey has always been his primary sport. He might even want to play in college. “I would love to play some kind of club hockey,” said McArdle. “Hockey has become on of the most competitive college sports out there.” While on the rink, McArdle plays all over the ice, whether it be as a hard-hitting defender or a sharpshooting winger. McArdle’s jersey number has always meant a lot to him. He wore number 4 as a young kid, but 7 became his lucky number later on in life. After the best player his freshman year wore 7, though, he resorted to number 25. It just so happens that both the digits add up to 7. Though McArdle plays on the big stage often, the spotlight never gets to him. “The crowd never affects how I play,” he said. “If I know that people are coming, I might get a little nervous thinking about it, but everything goes away. I do look up at the stands quite a lot, but that doesn’t really affect me. My teammates affect me more than the crowd.” McArdle’s parents, though, affect his performance quite a bit. “When I was younger I would freak out if they weren’t there or if I couldn’t find them in the stands. It makes me feel controlled and helps me stay calm.” And that’s all he needs to stay calm, even on the biggest stage of them all. “I played on Soldier Field when I was a sophomore, that’s probably my most vivid hockey memory,” said McArdle. “That was crazy. I scored all 4 goals for my team. It was freezing, but an amazing experience.”]]>