Shawsheen Valley Tech. HS students build hockey sled for teacher’s son

BILLERICA, Mass. — J.D. Michaud couldn’t wait to hit the ice at the Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington Friday morning. The 9-year-old from Sudbury tried out his new hockey sled for the first time.

J.D. participates in sled hockey, a sport that allows people with a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey.

“He’s had three hip surgeries, so it’s, kind of, made it difficult for him to move around and play sports like the other kids. He’s not as fast. He always wants to be faster, and we know skating is fast, you know, so,” said Doug Michaud, J.D.’s father.

Doug Michaud is a teacher at Shawsheen Valley Technical Vocational High School in Billerica. Students in five different departments worked to build his son the sled.

“We were designing the parts making the blueprints. I designed the skate part the skate,” said Adam Winitzer, a student at Shawsheen Valley Technical Vocational High School.

Another student, Matthew Ryan, said the project was cool for him and his classmates.

“First we bent the metal, and then we welded it and then sent it off to the other guys to do this part and all the holes I believe were drilled in the machine shop,” Ryan said.

The students made the sled from start to finish in just four days. “Some of the kids just drew the parts to it. They didn’t work on cutting the pieces, but they drew the pieces. Now to see it moving and working is just amazing, you know,” Michaud said.

An amazing show of teamwork for one happy little boy. The students built two sleds. The one for J.D. and another for his father, so they play sled hockey together.