As I entered the chilly Amery Area Ice Arena, I couldn’t help but wish I had brought a jacket. With a shiver up my spine, I took a seat and looked at the empty arena. Soon, this arena will be buzzing with activity. As players began to get to the ice and shoot the puck around for their captains practice, I was greeted by Matt and Ryan Humpal, with big smiles and a warm welcoming handshake, the cold of the ice arena seemed to disappear. Matt and Ryan Humpal have completed the trifecta of graduating from Amery High School, now teaching within the Amery School District, and coaching for the Amery Warriors. Between growing up in the community and now shaping the youth of Amery through sport and education, the two have certainly found a home.
As brothers, the Matt and Ryan were competitive and sporty from the start. From early on at age eight and ten, the Humpal brothers could be found at the Wanderoos softball fields playing with kids and watching their dad during softball games. Along with Wanderoos, the boys could often be found at the softball fields in Deer Park, but not playing with other boys or their dad, but their Grandma Humpal. “Our Grandma Humpal would take us down to the ballpark in Deer Park and hit ground balls to us when we were little.” Grandma Humpal, who is now one-hundred-and-one years old, was hitting ground boys to the boys when she was in her mid 60’s and would hit and pitch to the boys “all day long” said Ryan.