~ Article courtesy Battlefords North Stars, image courtesy Martin Martinson
Ever since he can remember, the winter season has been synonymous with hockey for Battlefords hometown product, Jake Southgate.
The North Stars first-year player grew up on a farm, just 20 minutes south of Battleford, where he said he can still remember the early beginnings of his passion for the sport, back where it all began – on the backyard dugout.
“I think I was around four or five years old just playing on the dugout that my dad would clear off,” Southgate said of his earliest hockey memories. “I remember we’d go around shooting pucks, and then not long after, I started playing organized hockey my first year of initiation at about age five.”
He said suiting up for the North Stars has been a dream come true; a dream that was born from a young age, watching the Stars play at the Civic Centre (Access Communications Centre).
“Every year we’d go to about five or 10 games and I’d sit with my dad,” Southgate recalled. “He’d tell me things about each player and what to watch, and then every year he’d also take me to the North Stars’ kid’s camp. [There] I’d learn from those guys and hope to be one of them one day.”
Southgate (19) has been a key contributor for the North Stars this season producing 22 goals, 28 assists for 50 points in 53 games. Southgate 5’11 170 lbs left winger is a dynamic, 200 ft forward with great speed. Southgate is dependable in every zone and plays both the powerplay and the penalty kill.
Southgate and his teammates are excited for the upcoming playoff season since the past two years have been shortened due to COVID19.