CULVER - Anyone who is even a casual hockey fan in Marshall County knows of the storied tradition and history of CMA in the sport.
The Eagles can boast 22 former players that were drafted by NHL teams and seven who played or are currently playing in the NHL. This year's graduating class at the Academy will have seven players headed to NCAA schools to play hockey and while the NHL is still a ways down the road for them a lifetime resident of the town of Culver is still keeping the dream alive.
Fisher Shea will be making his way to Tufts University in Boston, a top academic school as well as having an outstanding hockey program.
"Of course I'd like to play after college," he said. "I talked to the coach at Tufts about it and he thinks that's always an option. I think I'd like to play a couple of years pro in Europe. I've known a couple of guys that did that and they said it was the experience of a lifetime. I'd like to get the experience and maybe just see how far I can go with it."
But before all of that a degree from Tufts will be on the agenda for Shea, who is as good in the classroom as he is on the ice.
"That standard was set by my parents," he said. "They said as long as I keep my grades I can keep playing hockey. That's how it's been my whole life. You get A's you get to play."
"I think I'm going into economics, definitely on the business side," he said. "My dad owns his own business and that's what I would like to do. Once I graduate I'll think about it more, but that's the plan."
Shea's parents have been a big part of more than just Fisher's success in hockey.
"The first team I played on was the Irish Rovers in South Bend when I was six years old," he said. "I played there for three years and started playing at a higher level on a team in Chicago and it was two hours there and back every day. We decided that wasn't a good fit and didn't want to do that anymore."
"I can't thank them (parents Jennifer and Jamie Shea) enough," said Fisher. "They've put as much or more than I have into this. When I got to Culver my mom was ecstatic. She didn't have to drive me to practice anymore."
A Culver boy from the start his hockey career got a push from a good friend and fellow Culver boy.
"When I was five years old one of my best friends was a hockey player and I didn't know what it was so he took me to the rink one day and I put on a pair of old skates and I loved it," said Shea. "Ever since then I've been playing."
That friend was a good one to learn from. Shea's classmate and Jack Schmiedlin, will continue his hockey career next year at NCAA Div. III Chatham University. Brother Patrick, plays juniors hockey, where many of professional hockey's top prospects hone their skills.
"He kind of set me on my hockey path," said Fisher. "It took me a couple years to catch up since the Schmiedlin brothers had been playing since they were like two but eventually when I was eight or nine I started playing pretty well."
After spending his junior high years in Milwaukee honing his hockey skills on a team there, Shea came back home for his freshman year and achieved something he had his sights set on since he started playing.
"One of my first goals as a hockey player was to be able to put on a Culver jersey," said Fisher. "So when I got there it was just a pretty cool feeling. When I went in I wasn't really a complete player. I've learned a lot from coach (Steve) Palmer to play a complete game - all 200 feet - I thank him for that. I appreciate it."
"I'm a left wing, I've really always been a forward," said Shea. "Playing defenseman is a completely different skill set. I wanted to try playing 'D' but I never did. I like scoring. I like putting the puck in the back of the net."
It's something he hopes to keep doing for at least four more years.
"I went to a couple of schools out east, When I got to Tufts I knew it was the place," said Shea. "It's like five minutes from downtown Boston. It was hard to pass up such a prestigious school with a great hockey program. I love the city of Boston so that's where I wanted to play."