The Eckrich Cousins Bond On and Off the Ice


Charlie Eckrich

Stephen (on left) and his cousin Charlie in youth hockey

Avery Herendeen

The Saint Joe hockey team is home to cousins – sophomore Stephen and junior Charlie Eckrich. 

Starting together at ages three and four for the local Irish Youth Hockey League,  some of their best memories have been shared skating on the ice. During Charlie’s eighth grade season, he played for the Irish Select while Stephen played for the Irish Rovers. Both remember the experience of playing against each other. Stephen specifically recalls fondly taking the victory over his older cousin. 

Charlie has always been known for his hard work and determination on and off the ice. This hard work earned him the infamous nickname, Chuck Grinder (aka Chuck for short). 

They also grew up around the corner from each other and shared a lake house. Stephen paints a vivd picture of rollerblading behind his friend’s golf cart with Charlie. 

“We always had a driver and everyone else on roller blades, holding on to the sides of the cart and launching themselves, the best part was racing down the hills but don’t worry we were always safe,” says Stephen.

Charlie’s favorite memories all center around the family lake house. Spending time with family and friends there created some of his most treasured times but specifically double wakeboarding behind the ski boat with Stephen. 

“I will never forget the time we were wakeboarding and I tried a 360 and fell the hardest I ever have before, Stephen still will not let me live that down,” says Charlie.

Over the years they have tested each other’s competitive spirits but created a great cousin bond as well. Going to Saint Joe has allowed them to come together on and off the ice. They have one season left at Saint Joe together with many more memories to come.