Not your average hockey player


By Peter Knutson
Let’s Play Hockey

Toby Sengvongxay may be an average sophomore at Luverne High School, but he is one player you wouldn’t expect to see in hockey, let alone breaking school records on the ice. Sengvongxay is Hmong-American.

He started playing hockey around third grade and has stuck with it since then. Toby is an avid soccer player and one day he was on the soccer field and a hockey parent saw him practicing. They asked him if he would try hockey because he was so fast on the field. He gave hockey a shot and loved it from the start.

“His development from year to year is incredible,” said Luverne coach Tony Sandbulte. His hands, quickness and speed are his best assets comparable to any of the top players in the state.”

Indeed Sengvongxay is comparable to any of the top players in the state. As a freshman last year, he broke the school record for points as a freshman defenseman with four goals and 17 assists. He also played in the Elite League and was selected on the National Select 15 team that went to New York last summer. Sengvongxay hopes to continue playing after high school by playing for a Division I college.

“Thanks to Toby and the rest of the team, we have a bigger target on our back,” Sandbulte said. “We aren’t sneaking up on teams anymore and they aren’t surprised when we come out flying on the ice.”

Sengvongxay is also involved at the school. He plays a lot of soccer during the summer and fall. He enjoys spending time with his family and playing soccer with them.

Not only is he good with his feet, but also his hands. Sengvongxay plays baseball for Luverne and has been quite successful.

In school, Sengvongxay is a member of their choir. His drive to be the best he can has served him well in everything he does.

“Toby is a very motivated kid,” Sandbulte said. “He has great character and wants to do well in anything that he does. He is willing to put in the hard work. At the rink he is usually one of the first guys on the ice and one of the last to leave the rink. I can’t stress how good of a teammate he is. He is very strong in the locker room, on the ice and in school. I just can’t say enough good things about the kid. If he sticks with it, he can do anything.”

For a player you wouldn’t expect to see on the ice, Sengvongxay is not one to take lightly. He is now a sophomore looking to break more records and help his team out in anyway he can. Look to see more out of Sengvongxay in the upcoming years.