Hockey dream comes true for Fishers teen

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - 14-year-old Nate Kolesar laced up for a surprise skate with the Indy Fuel Thursday morning. The Hamilton Southeastern freshman thought he was headed to a doctor's appointment until his parents, Jeff and Joann, made an unexpected turn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and pulled up to Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Nate lived out a hockey dream by signing an honorary weekend contract with the Fuel. He joined the team on the ice at the end of practice and worked out with the team.

“Hockey's been almost everything since I started playing,” said Nate at a news conference held in his honor. “I love the game. I love the pace of it. The feeling of scoring, I loved it the first time so I couldn't really stop."

But Nate had to give up hockey two years ago when he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. Tall, thin frames and heart problems are common. Nate is already 6’2”. Doctors expect him to grow up to about 6’8”.

“Sometimes not being able to do what you want to do, like if your friends say let's play tackle football or something, you can't do that. You've got to be careful at times,” Nate said.

Nate can't play hockey anymore, but he's still out on the ice. He serves as an assistant coach for the Junior Fuel Pee Wee AA and became a hockey referee when he couldn’t play anymore. He would like to be a hockey coach as an adult.

“I was pretty upset, but I realized that there's plenty of ways to help out in the game of hockey that's not playing since I ref and coach,” said Nate. “I just want to stay involved as much as possible into the game."

The wife of Indy Fuel Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations Bernie John told him about Nate. John presented Nate with an honorary two-day contract with the Fuel. Nate will wear his personalized #94 jersey when he leads the team on to the ice for Friday's home game against the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:30p.m.

“I'm really excited about it,” said Nate. “I don't really know what to say. I'm very thankful for what they've done. It was really fun going out onto the ice with the guys and playing around. Then the locker room tour, that was pretty cool too.”

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