It wasn't that long ago when Patrick Levesque, then a Quad City Mallards hockey player, was looking for a future beyond his professional hockey career. He loved the Quad Cities, and wanted to stay around to build his family after ice hockey.

Fast forward 6 years and you can see that dream realized any given day or night at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, where now hundreds of players of all skill levels compete in leagues year-round.

I discovered the Dek while looking for something for my son to do. We were a baseball family, but high school ball was going to be too time consuming among the other activities. Joey found a love for Dek, and hockey in general, that spring. I spent many nights at the Dek cheering him on, and even subbed on his team a few times. It turns out that a 40-something can run around a bit and have fun amidst players of higher skill. Since those early days, I did get to play a season with my son as the coach, in a complete 180 I don't recommend for any fathers with fragile egos.

Goose took a different path to the Dek. He is a recreational ice hockey player, and the Dek became a full family affair. He is now playing on a team with his oldest son.  These are great days, spending time with your kids working together in a competitive environment. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

If you have even a scrap of athletic ability, I suggest trying out the Dek. Sign up the kids first, but don't surprised to find that you're soon strapping up the pads.  Here's some more info.