KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – Braxton Mills will never forget the final moments of a State Championship Hockey Game. His team, Keller High School, won the game, but it was no victory for him.
“I feel a lot of regret,” Mills told CBS 11 News, as he sat with his parents by his side. “You can’t do something without thinking because everything has consequences.”
Those consequences were the result of a fight, which was posted all over the internet, when the game between Arlington Martin and Keller high schools turned ugly.
Jeff SoRelle, a player for Arlington Martin, left the penalty box to join the brawl. Braxton Mills saw SoRelle collide with a Keller teammate. Mills retaliated with a hit which broke SoRelle’s jaw.
Sorelle is out for two years and Mills won’t play for two-and-a-half years.
“When it first happened, I was just dumbfounded, “ recalls Mills mother, Ava.
Mills says he reacted out of instinct. “I see this fight going on,” he explained. “I jump out to hopefully protect my teammates and stop it. There was really no thought that went into that whole situation. I just quickly reacted.”
The instinctual feelings for Mills father were something different. “When we were walking out of the arena and I heard someone say, ‘You know they can file assault charges for that’,” recalled Rick Mills. “And it was at that moment that my emotion switched from disappointment to concern about Braxton.”
You could make the argument that the two teams were just emulating their idols in the NHL, where fighting is not only accepted, it is woven into the fabric of the game. Not so, however, in amateur hockey, and that disturbs the Mills family. “I hated the idea that this this incident portrayed youth hockey in a way that is not the norm,” said Rick Mills.
Player Braxton Mills says this lesson is not lost on him. “That’s the most important thing for me is to learn from this and take it in.”