There are certain athletes who just stand out. As soon as they step on the field or the court or the ice your eye goes right to them. And your focus never leaves until they do. It’s just something about the way they play the game or their particular skill set or just how good they are that just grabs your attention and never lets go.
Isaac Lippert is one of those players.
A senior at Skyline, Lippert is a key member of the Eagles’ extremely talented varsity hockey team. And when he steps on the ice he instantly changes the game, the tempo, the feel and the atmosphere. It’s as if someone flicked a switch and a spotlight suddenly appears.
And Lippert not only doesn’t mind the spotlight, he shines in it.
“The games in which we have the most fun every season are the games with the highest intensity,” says Lippert, whose team has come up on the short end of two exciting games against equally as talented Pioneer, including the final of the Jilek Cup last week. “Having a game like that early in the season helps us identify which areas of our play need the most attention as we approach the postseason.”
Skyline does not have a JV team so many of the players on the roster are facing this kind of intensity for the first time as an Eagle. Lippert says, “it’s not a bad thing to face adversity early in the year, so the young guys have an idea of what it takes to find success in big games.”
The loss to Pioneer will sting for a little while but Lippert has the bigger picture already in full view.
“I thought we controlled the play for the majority of the game, but we didn’t capitalize well enough on the chances we got,” he said. “Moving forward, we will have an emphasis on putting away every opportunity we get.”
The Eagles also have the opportunity to put away every team they face. Skyline is built for big things, and they not only have the skill to go far, but also the leadership and drive. And Lippert is helping drive the bus and steering it to hopefully parts unknown.
“Being a team that has only been around for about a decade, many of our goals as a team have not been achieved in school history,” he says. “One of such goals is to win the Regional. To accomplish this goal, we will have to beat a top-10 team, likely more than one. This isn’t far out of reach for us as a team. We will need full effort across the board, and we need a couple bounces to go our way.”
The Eagles have as much, if not more, talent than previous Skyline teams. But they have that X factor too.
“Our team has the mentality that nothing is given, only earned,” Lippert says. “Every game and practice we try to give our full effort, because we find that’s how to have the most fun.”
Lippert, 17, started playing hockey at a very young age. The sport was in the family so he took to it right away.
“With my grandpa, dad, and two older brothers all playing hockey, it was natural for me to start at a young age,” he says. “One thing that stood out to me for a very long time was how being smart about your play style is a key component in finding success. As I got older I enjoyed the combination of physical and mental challenges more and more.”
Lippert also is very successful off the ice. The son of Kim and Chris Lippert, Isaac has a 3.9 GPA and also is a very good lacrosse player. As a two-sport athlete, he spends his offseason playing for the club teams organized by Skyline. “I find it helpful to start building chemistry before the regular season begins,” he says.
Lippert has been accepted to both U-M and MSU and is currently deciding which one to attend next year.
“My dream is to play a sport at the collegiate level while I earn my degree,” he says. “It will take a lot of dedication and constant work to achieve this goal. I will have to be fully prepared to make the most of any opportunity that arises.”
First, however, he is locked in on opportunities that may arise on the ice.