For someone so young, former-Sylvania resident and hockey player, Will MacKinnon, has already made his way into the sports world. At just age 11, he and his teammate won the Regional Silver Stick Pee Wee minor hockey championship while playing for the Toledo Cherokee team.
A younger MacKinnon with his Toledo Cherokee team.
Fast-forward four years, and Will was chosen to play for Team USA during the Youth Winter Olympic Games, hosted in Lillehammer, Norway this past February.
MacKinnon and his team walking into the Youth Winter Olympic Games.
He definitely couldn’t imagine winning the Youth Winter Olympic Games, and becoming a Gold Medalist at age 15.
MacKinnon's gold medal.
MacKinnon grew up playing hockey at Sylvania’s Tam-O-Shanter, the Ice House, and for competitive AA level travel teams. He met some of his best friends along the way, while also being fortunate to have his father as a coach.
A young MacKinnon on the ice.
Eventually, MacKinnon further improved his skills, and in 2012, he started playing on the AAA level with on teams in the Detroit area. In 2015, when he was a part of the HoneyBaked Bantam Major 14U team, they won the Tier 1 National Championship in a thrilling 2 to 1 double overtime victory over the Chicago Mission.
That first national championship was when MacKinnon realized how far he had come as an athlete. His potential became clear as opportunities to play at an elite level were not such dreams anymore. Last summer, MacKinnon trained hard and had the honor of being named one of six defensemen born in the year 2000 as a young Olympian.
MacKinnon faces off during the Olympic games.
This 15-year old currently resides in Plymouth, Michigan, where he attends the TPH hockey academy in Canton. MacKinnon plans to continue to develop himself in the USA junior hockey ranks over the next few seasons, while deciding where he wants to play hockey at a collegiate level. Even though he is in a new city, MacKinnon has not forgotten his roots or where he began playing hockey.
The young hockey star today.
“It was a small hockey community really,” says MacKinnon. “We took pride in representing Toledo at tournaments and trying to show how good we were.” His former teammates and friends still maintain contact and get together a few times a year. While he is gone, his childhood hockey teammates did not forget to congratulate him when he made the USA Youth Olympic team.
Talk about Toledo pride.