NEW ULM, Minn. – Minnesota state high school hockey tournaments bring together great athleticism, friendly rivals and wild hairstyles.
    Hunter Hulke is proud to be a hockey player, and even more proud to have made the 2019 Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team.
    “I was hoping to make the top 10,” Hulke said. “Everyone thought I was crazy, but I always say you never know if you’ll get that chance at state again, so you might as well make the most out of it.”
    Hulke, who plays left wing on the New Ulm Eagles, was selected as the fourth athlete in GameOn!’s satirical video clip that features hairstyles debuted at the boys hockey tournament March 7-9 at the Excel Energy Center and Mariucci Arena in the Twin Cities.
    The high school junior grew up on his family’s dairy farm near New Ulm, Minn., where he works for his dad, Nathan Hulke, and uncle, Kevin Hulke.
    A mullet formed with racing stripes and embellished with bleach color gave Hulke the edge over other state tournament participants. Video producer John King coined Hulke’s hairstyle as the “Inboard Motor.”
    “Big wake in back so you can surf without a rope,” said King in the YouTube bit.
    For Hulke, his hockey hair has been years in the making. He started skating when he was 3 years old and has almost always sported a mullet. In eighth grade, Hulke added the racing stripes.
    “Growing up as a kid, I always dreamed of going to the state tournament,” Hulke said. “I saw how much fun they had in front of all the fans, and some had cool haircuts … bleach, mullets and all that.”
    Once Hulke’s team was destined for the state tournament, he made plans for his eccentric hairstyle.
    “My dad agreed because he said we might not make it to state next year, so why not make memories,” Hulke said. “When [Dad] went to state in football and basketball, they always had crazy hairdos.”
    He spent nearly an hour at the hair salon, soaking in two coats of bleach.
    “I wanted to get it as light as possible,” Hulke said. “That was the longest I’ve ever sat at a barbershop.”
    At the state tournament, Hulke presented his yellow-tinged locks in the quarterfinals’ game against Mahtomedi. Hulke, his teammates and opponents all sported mullets and similar styles.
    “Even Mahtomedi’s section was loud, and it kept getting louder,” said Hulke of the cheers they received for their hair. “Everyone was saying there were about four of us from New Ulm who were supposed to do well with our hair.”
    Hulke’s dedication to his looks on the ice comes as no surprise given his work ethic and dependability on his family’s dairy.
    Every morning, Hulke feeds calves before going in to school to lift weights. On the weekends, when he is not a part of a sports tournament, Hulke helps as much as possible.
    During the fall, Hulke enjoys combining, hauling and ripping.
    “From living on the farm, I’ve learned how to care for cattle and work with cattle,” Hulke said. “You give yourself 110% and hard work pays off. On the ice, it’s the same; you don’t cheat yourself.”
    The high school student believes his upbringing on the farm prepared him for the state hockey tournament and memories that were created.
    “Playing at the state tournament was unreal and something I’ll never forget,” Hulke said. “No words can describe what it’s like playing under the lights and in front of thousands (of fans).”
    While Hulke hopes to one day follow in his father’s footsteps and be a part of the family dairy, right now he is still celebrating his skating career and famed hockey hair.