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When a brain tumor cut short his hockey dream, Cretin-Derham Hall student took up golf

By Paul Hodowanic, special to the Star Tribune, 06/02/20, 7:30PM CDT


Jack Traxler sees a lot of parallels between golf and his recovery.

Jack Traxler is a senior on the golf team at Cretin-Derham Hall. Despite balance and vision problems from a brain tumor, he excels at golf. Shari Gross, Star Tribune

Jack Traxler of St. Paul always pictured himself a hockey player.

From a young age, he watched his two older brothers, Matthew and Andrew, play hockey for Cretin-Derham Hall. His goal? To follow in their footsteps.

“I always wanted to be like them,” he said.

A brain tumor made that dream impossible for the Cretin-Derham Hall senior, but it hasn’t stopped him from achieving a new goal:

Recognition as a dedicated — and scholarship-winning — golfer.

“I play sports, that’s what I do,” Traxler said. “I kind of thought, ‘What else can I do?’ So, I tried golf and that was the best sport I could play that I was OK at and could get better at over time.”

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