COLLEGE STATION, TX — When the Roadrunners aren't out here at the Spirit Ice Arena, they are building bonds with their teammates and host families.
Players travel from all over to play hockey for the Texas Roadrunners in College Station. The upcoming season will be Jaron Ketterman's second time junior hockey team.
"I'm hoping to stay with the same billet family when I get back," Jaron Ketterman, Roadrunners hockey player, said.
The 19-year-old hockey player is originally from Alaska but stays with a host, also known as a billet family during the season.
"They're a great family. I loved living with them. They had an eight-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter," Ketterman said.
Fellow player, Timothy Marsico has had similar experience staying with his billet family.
"I got to help my billet brother shoot pucks and teach him a couple things, I hope. I hope it wasn't all bad at least. and I guess in the community I feel much more ingrained than when I got there," said Timothy Marsico, hockey player for the Texas Roadrunners.
The team needs more families to host players for the upcoming season from August 2021 through March 22 season.
"They have a lot riding on this experience, so having a family that is there to support them emotionally, to be a buffer if things aren't going well or celebrate with them when things are going well. That is huge," Caleb Fitzpatrick, assistant coach for the Texas Roadrunner, said.
The Clark Family has been hosting players for soon to be three seasons. They say the experience is a win-win.
"They have become like her big brothers and that is a fun relationship to see form. And my son plays hockey. They will help when his gear breaks. It just becomes like a big happy family," Courtney Clark, a billet family said.
Hosts receive monthly compensation in exchange for providing food, shelter and support as the players pursue their passion on the rink.
"They were just there to support me and help me realize my hockey dreams," Marsico said.
The Roadrunners need about two dozen host families throughout the season.
If you are interested in becoming a billet family, you can contact the assistant coach at (813) 928-1073.