Boys hockey: not backing down

Hailey Fine, Staff Writer

While boys hockey only has six seniors on the 21 man roster, the team has no intention of taking this season to “rebuild.”

“We are a much younger team with only six seniors, last year we had 10,” head coach Delayon Morris said. “We still play fast and we have a high level of skill and tenacity on the team. We are just adjusting to the pace.”

Although the year hasn’t started out the way they wanted, as the team owns a 3-6 record, they are confident there is still plenty of time to turn the season around.

“We take one game, one practice at a time,” Morris explained. “Hockey comes with a long season, so we cannot dwell on one or two games; we have to look at the big picture and make sure everything is running smoothly.”

In order to do this, the team aims to work on their communication on the ice and make sure ever player is on the same page. While the team has many different skill sets, they still face issues due to a lack of communication. They have many different talents, but are having trouble putting their skills together to get the result they want because of that lack of communication. Seniors Gabi Rodriguez, Evan Destefano and Andrew Cousineau are determined to help lead the team as they grow and learn to play together.

“We just need to work on our work ethic, it’s all about how much you put in. Once our team puts our ‘everything’ in together, the results will start coming along to our liking,” Rodriguez said.

In addition to working on their mindset, the team is slowly improving their physicality, a crucial aspect to success in the tough Illinois High School Hockey League North-Central Division.

“We are on the ice at least four times a week, morning or night. We also have off ice training in order to work on our conditioning,” sophomore Campbell Wagener said. “During practice, we try to replicate game-like situations, but also work on our skills so that we feel comfortable and know what to do in every situation.”

The freshmen and sophomores have scored a combined 16 points out of the 38 total points. Even with this relatively high amount of points coming from the underclassmen, the team still looks to the seniors for leadership, as well as a large number of points..

“Whenever we are in a drought or our team has a negative vibe, the seniors are on it right away and have a team meeting,” Wagener said. “They make sure everyone’s voice is heard and when everyone has spoken they create goals that we can work on as a team, or as they like to say, ‘as a family.’”