Plus … St. Cloud hockey community mourns player killed in SUV crash after game.
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St. Cloud hockey community mourns player killed in SUV crash after game
A St. Cloud teen and youth hockey star was killed Saturday night in a rollover crash.
The St. Cloud Sheriff’s Office reports 17-year-old Charlie Boike died after a single-vehicle wreck in St. Augusta, about five miles south of St. Cloud. Crews responded shortly after 10:30 p.m. for the crash on 23rd Avenue south of Majestic Drive.
Investigators say Boike appears to have been headed southbound on 23rd Avenue in a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer when the SUV went off the road and crashed into the ditch before rolling over. Deputies say roads were slippery that night due to the weather. Boike was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
First responders tried to revive Boike but he was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.
Boike is listed as a player on the St. Cloud High School boys hockey team. FOX 9 is told Boike was on his way home from the team’s game versus Rogers when the crash occurred.
In a Facebook post, the St. Cloud Youth Hockey Association wrote: “It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of one of our hockey players this past evening. Our hearts and prayers are with the Boike family and friends as we are heartbroken over the loss of our hockey teammate, Charlie. Our hockey community is one that truly comes together in times like this and we ask you all to lift this family up as they grieve the loss of their son, brother, and friend. To honor his life, we ask all families to place a stick outside your doors tonight so he can play hockey with the angels. Skate free Charlie.”
A GoFundMe to support Boike’s family has raised more than $18,000 as of Sunday night.
The St. Cloud Crush boys hockey team is finding solace on skates at a time when very little makes sense.
On Monday evening, the team held its first practice without Boike. Head Coach Pete Matanich said there was a clear void.
“What’s really going to hit them is in two, three weeks, when the lights go away, the ceremonies go away and everything else goes away and you realize he’s not here,” Matanich said.
Matanich called Boike the “glue” of his hockey team. The entire Boike family was well known in St. Cloud’s hockey community.
His teammates will proudly display Boike’s initials and his jersey number on their helmets.
“He used to pick guys up for 6 a.m. practice all the time. He made sure all the younger guys got where they needed to be,” Matanich said.
Matanich said Boike had just dropped a teammate off after Saturday’s game against Rogers and was on his way home when his SUV went off the road and rolled over in St. Augusta.
Boike’s loss is also felt by his classmates at Tech High School, where he was a junior. He was also inducted into the National Honor Society this year.
“Today was super somber. I teach a class with Charlie, and there was an empty desk and not a dry eye,” said Beth Fenstad, a language arts teacher and the National Honor Society advisor at Tech High School. “We wrote notes to Charlie’s family, and the No. 1 thing that came up was what a sweet soul he is.”
Fenstad recognizes that “sweet” is not normally a word that describes a hockey player, but it’s fitting for the teammate who always made sure water bottles were filled and equipment was ready to go.
“Probably the best teammate you could ever ask for. Even when he wasn’t playing, he was one of those guys that would always do whatever he could to help out,” Matanich said.
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Orono dog with special needs short on spine, big on love
For the last 5 years, Cooper has been a member of Elly and Andy Keegan’s family.
“He’s usually either sleeping or making sure he is in the middle of what we are doing as a family,” said Elly.
This dog with special needs has found a special home, one that accepts him as he is.
“He’s been such a staple in our family for five years we don’t even consider it special needs anymore,” said Elly.
The Keegans say their 6-year-old American Foxhound was born with a hereditary condition called Short Spine Syndrome that left him with a compressed spine that makes him look like he doesn’t have a neck.
The Keegans say he was sent to Second Hand Hounds after he had been wandering in some woods near Fairfax, Virginia for months, and the animal rescue asked the Keegans to open their home and hearts to him until he could be adopted.
“After he was up for adoption for over a year and we didn’t find him a home, I said I’m done. I can’t keep trying to find him the perfect fit when we know this is the perfect fit. He’s here forever. He’s not going anywhere now,” said Elly.
Cooper has limited mobility, like he can’t turn his head so if he wants to see what’s behind him, he has to shift his entire body around.
The Keegans say Short Spine Syndrome only affects about 30 dogs in the world, so they started a Facebook page called Cooper: Short On Spine, Big On Love to raise awareness about the rare condition.
“When you see something that otherwise may not have had a chance at life because of their special needs. To be able to give them that full life and see their joy as they are experiencing it, that is something special for us to see as well,” said Andy.
The Keegans say they offered Cooper’s genetic profile to researchers at Purdue University to help get a better scientific understanding of animals with Short Spine Syndrome.
In the meantime, they plan to continue helping Cooper have a full and happy life and hope others consider giving a pet with special needs a home as well.
“Even if an animal is special needs, even if they need a little more support, the amount they return in gratitude and love is that much higher, said Elly.
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