by KELLY GUSICH
photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Che, Kohn, and Liebl Bring Their Talents
and Aspirations to the
San Diego Gulls

 

SAN DIEGO GULLS

When many people think of ice hockey, they think good ice hockey only happens in Canada. But what if good San Diego players get to go to Canada? That’s what happened to the San Diego Gulls – a middle-school age team from 92130. The Gulls were invited last year to the largest tournament in the world: The Quebec Peewee Invitational. The three members spotlighted here unanimously feel that to be the most memorable experience of their young hockey lives. They were billeted by French families, went dog-sledding, and played in front of 3,000 people.

MASON

Carmel Valley has been home to Mason Kohn since he was three, where he started playing hockey in 2009. He is inspired by Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins because of combined talent and work ethic-the same reason he likes the Bruins: “They aren’t made up of super stars, but they work really well as a team.” His goal is to play Division 1 Ice Hockey and hopefully get drafted to the NHL. It probably surprises readers to know that whenever he gets a new piece of hockey gear, he sleeps with it.

Talent-MasonName: Mason Kohn
School: Carmel Valley Middle School
Grade: 7
Parents: Andrew Kohn, Susan Nahama, Sharon Kohn (Stepmom)
Siblings: Jade, Caleb, Mia, Courtney, Shelby

ISAAC

Isaac Che moved into Pacific Highland Ranch just two months ago. He started playing hockey at seven, and admires Patrice Bergeron not only for his great athleticism, but because he gives back to the community and visits sick kids at hospitals. “I look up to him,” Isaac told us, “and I hope that kids younger than me will feel the same way about me.” It might surprise readers to know Isaac also plays piano, clarinet and baritone.

talent-IsaacName: Isaac Che
School: Carmel Valley Middle School
Grade: 8
Parents: Lu Guo & Jianwei Che
Siblings: Vincent Che

TYLER

Tyler Liebl has lived in Del Mar since birth and has been playing hockey since he was six. His hockey motivations are local: his father and grandfather both played high level hockey in Canada, and “My dad has inspired me to work hard since I was little.” He’d love to play for the Winnipeg Jets, because his father was born there. “I think the thing that would surprise people about me is when I am off the ice people would say that I wouldn’t hurt a fly, but when people see me on the ice hitting and playing really physical, they sometimes ask if that was really me out there.”

talent-TylerName: Tyler Liebl
Schools: Earl Warren Middle School
Grade: 8
Parents: Tammy & Geoff Liebl
Sibling: Noah