By Mark Padgett

Whitney Padgett has the talent to go a long way in hockey, and recently her skills have earned her international recognition. Padgett, who last year was an eighth grade goaltender playing varsity hockey for the Maple Grove Crimson, was scouted to play for the West Coast Selects, an elite USA/Canada team headed to Europe this summer. The team will play exhibition games against international competition in Innsbruck, Austria and then compete in the World Selects Tournament in Bolzano, Italy. The tournament is run in an Olympic format, with opening ceremonies, a welcome dinner, medal ceremonies, and an all star game. Padgett was happy to be chosen, stating: �It was an honor to be picked for this team and I look forward to seeing how they play hockey in other countries�. In addition to playing hockey against teams from all over Europe, Padgett said she is looking forward to tours of the Olympic Village in Innsbruck, Austria. The team leaves for Innsbruck on August 3, 2012 and is slated to return ten days later. This trip is a milestone for Padgett, who hopes to earn a Division I college scholarship playing hockey.