by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Alan Smith Photography

Inspiration on Ice

student_lissebeck2Gavin Lissebeck knew from the age of three that he was meant to play ice hockey. Since that time, the sport has taken Gavin from his home in Torrey Highlands to as far away as China.

It began at the San Diego Ice Arena when Gavin accompanied his mom to drop his sister off for a birthday party. He noticed the mini-mite class and couldn’t stop asking questions. The hockey director overheard Gavin’s curiosity and recommended his mom sign him up. Since he had no experience on the ice, Gavin’s mom taught him to skate first and then registered him for the mini-mite class. “I loved it so much that I never stopped playing,” Gavin acknowledged.

Today, Gavin is a freshman at Westview High School and plays for the San Diego Jr. Gulls Bantam Major AAA team. He is successful at balancing his time between school and sports; he has been a SCAHA Scholar Athlete Recipient since 2013 for maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher. For the last three years, Gavin has also served as the assistant captain of the hockey team.


Name: Gavin J. Lissebeck (14)
School: Westview High School
Grade: 9
Parents: Mike and Yosina Lissebeck
Sibling: Rylie Lissebeck (16)
Favorite Places in 92129: Vons shopping center, my neighborhood

student_lissebeck3His time on the ice has granted him the opportunity to play internationally, traveling to places like Sweden, China, and Canada. “Sweden is my favorite because I met so many other international hockey players and we have become friends and stayed in contact with each other,” Gavin explained. “But China was so historical and unique, and the food was very different.” He has been invited to play there again this spring.

For inspiration, Gavin looks to his hockey coach from last year, Greg Pruden, who pushed him to take the sport to the next level. But it was more than just lessons in hockey. “He taught me how to become a young man,” Gavin explained. “And the best thing yet is when I was having a bad game or practice or bad week in general, he would always pick me up and inspire me to work even harder.”

While hockey may be Gavin’s focus, he also enjoys riding his bike, playing golf, and playing the piano. He also plays baseball and is on the varsity roller hockey team at Westview.

Looking ahead, Gavin plans to prioritize hockey alongside his studies. “I would like to attend a hockey prep school, then play hockey at a D1 college and ultimately play professional hockey,” he said.