Family

Reese Ward, (from left) Will Yates, James Brittain, Katy Brittain, Ryan Lovelace, Jesse Brittain and Brindi Brittain were billeted together. (Courtesy photo)

The Yellowstone Quake are looking for families to host players.

Billeting is a flexible commitment and can be tailored to a family’s needs and capabilities.

“I’m very particular about which players I put in which home,” said Katy Brittain, billet coordinator for the Yellowstone Quake.

Brittain said she takes the time to get to know each player and billet family, arranging the fit for each.

She said hosting a player or players can serve as an opportunity to help provide support and mentorship for young adults pursuing their hockey dream in an unfamiliar setting.

“(Players) get to know them, they really become a part of that family,” coach Phil Oberlin said.

Brittain hosted Quake players Ryan Lovelace and Will Yates for the past two seasons and has billeted for four years total. She said she helped Lovelace learn to drive and get his driver’s license, as well as treat him to some classic Wyoming activities like shooting guns and taking him on a cattle round up, catching calves and tagging their ears.

“Once you get past the fear of taking somebody else’s child the pressure just goes away,” Brittain said. “You’re really just bringing extra love into the home.”

Ideally, 1-2 players are matched per family. Bedrooms can be shared between players and as long as they have a place to park their cars and a bathroom available, there are no other facility requirements.

Quake players are 16-20 years old entering the season and are required to be pursuing their education or have a job off the ice.

“It’s a good learning time for kids,” Brittain said.

Brittain said about half the players go to online school while the other half attend Cody High School or Northwest College in-person.

Players generally are in Cody late August through March.

The players are supposed to be doing their own laundry and should be responsible for arranging most of their own meals.

Each billet family receives a stipend of $300 a month for hosting a player and a season ticket for each family member. They are expected to cook at least one meal a day for the players and take them grocery shopping.

“Essentially you’re just adopting that player into the family and treating them like your own kid,” Oberlin said.

Returning players often stay with the same billet family year-after-year, Brittain said.

Oberlin said players often end up developing a lifelong relationship with their billet families, returning to Cody long after their playing days are over.

Brittain said they are still needing around five more billet families for the upcoming season. Contact Brittain at (307) 899-2638 or Brittains@bresnan.net.

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