Niles’ Devin Nyers was able to play hockey in Canada while earning his high school diploma using the W-A-Y Niles, an online learning program offered at Niles Community Schools. Submitted photo

Archived Story

Niles grad reaches goal online

Published 2:47pm Thursday, July 12, 2012

Devin Nyers had a difficult decision to make at the end of his junior year at Niles High School.

On one hand, he had an opportunity to play goalie for the Orangeville Americans junior hockey club in Ontario, Canada, and further his dream of becoming a professional hockey player.

On the other hand, he wanted to complete his senior year and graduate on time with his class.

Doing both seemed impossible until Niles Community Schools offered a new alternative online learning program last fall called the W-A-Y Niles.

It allowed Nyers to complete his senior year online while training and competing with his team in Canada.

He graduated with his class this spring.

“(W-A-Y Niles) was the key factor,” Nyers said. “I wouldn’t have been able to leave because education is really huge in my family. I couldn’t have done it without the program.”

Nyers received a computer and 24/7 online access to education professionals who could answer any questions he had.

He completed most of his classwork at night after training all day with his team for a period of about eight months, from August 2011 to March.

“You have to be extremely self-motivated to have online classes, and I am a self-motivated person, so I could handle it,” he said.

Nyers is in Niles at the moment but is scheduled to head back to Ontario to train with his team at the end of the month.

Nyers said playing with the Orangeville Americans increases his exposure to college and pro scouts searching for talent. He hopes it will lead to a scholarship to play hockey in college.

“Getting an education and doing what I love on the side of it would just be all the prayers answered for me,” Nyers said. “Halfway through the season, I hope to get offers from somewhere.”

Nyers, who has been playing hockey since age 8, mostly at the Ice Box in South Bend, Ind., said he is enjoying living and playing hockey in Ontario.

“I like to do stuff on my own, and I was ready to experience being on my own — it really forces you to grow up early,” he said.

Nyers finished the season with a save percentage of .87, meaning he saved 87 percent of all shots on goal. Orangeville finished 19-18-5 in the regular season.

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