Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf.
So states the Twitter account of Jake Straw, Beverly High senior right wing and staunch animal advocate and enthusiast.
“Wolves, they get a bad rap,” Straw said about his favorite animal. “Most people think, ‘Oh, the Big Bad Wolf’, but it’s not like that at all. They’re fascinating; it’s been that way for me ever since I was six and my grandfather took me to Wolf Hollow in Ipswich.”
With nine goals — third-best on the team — and 15 points this winter, Straw is one of many dangerous offensive players for the Panthers. He’ll look to add to those totals Monday night at the Tsongas Center in Lowell when his top-seeded Panthers (20-1-1) meet No. 3 Tewksbury (17-3-2) for the Division 2 North title (6 p.m.). A win would advance Beverly to its first-ever state final in hockey a week from tomorrow at the TD Garden in Boston.
There is no questioning Straw’s love of hockey; he enjoys the sport’s physical nature, the cold and winter in general, and being part of a group striving towards a common goal. But his love for any and all things involving animals is just as powerful — if not greater. Straw knows he’s not going to play in the National Hockey League, but dreams of how his love of the outdoors and wildlife can be combined into the ultimate career.
“If I didn’t make much money in my life but was in the wilderness studying and helping animals, I’d be a very happy man,” said Straw.
“I really love animals so much because they live in the moment and taught me how to relax and enjoy the little things in life,” he continued. “People tend to stress and worry about what’s next in life. Animals concentrate on the power they have at that moment.”