LCN Hockey: Back on the ice

Kyle Deriemacker ‘14
Sports Editor

 

Skate blades cutting through the ice and clappers ringing off the pipes are some of the many sounds heard just as the LCN varsity hockey season begins. All of the players begin working toward their ultimate goal: a state championship.
This upcoming season is going to be very interesting for the team because they are not only a young team, but also only having five seniors will require everyone else to be a leader. However, most of the underclassmen are returning varsity players, so there is experience at the varsity level. Coming off of a rough 4-21 season, the hockey team is looking to bounce back to the competitive level they are used to. In order to do this, every player will need to put in a ton of time and effort.
The Crusaders will be lead by seniors Kyle Deriemacker, Justin Thompson, Dylan Ketelhut, Alex Bavol, and Zach Woelkers.
“I have high expectations for these guys,” said head coach Jon Nader. “They need to show the characteristics of leaders.”
Leadership is going to be a huge factor with whether or not the team will perform the way it should. Without it, the team could fall apart and have a terrible year. The leadership is going to have to start in the classroom and make its way to the ice.
“Since we have a young team, the other seniors and I will really have to lead the team,” said Thompson. “We will have to be role models for the younger players, and we will have to work hard at every practice and every game. Also, we cannot afford to lose a player due to low grades or behavior because we have a small roster.”
One problem that the hockey team had faced last season was consistency. The main production of goals was coming from a few select players, and the others were off and on. If the Crusaders can fix the problem for this season, scoring will come without struggle because the team has plenty of talent on offense.
Another aspect the team can critique is pre-game. Last season, there was a fair amount of joking around and not getting focused before hockey games. The team will need to fix their pre-game; otherwise, problems will occur on the ice from not being focused.
Hard work and being focused is one area that Coach Nader stresses to the team time and time again. Every day that the team has practice, everyone will need to show up ready to work and focused. With a small number of players, the team will need to work hard day-in and day-out, on and off the ice. The coaching staff will push the players every day to better themselves and to achieve their goals as a team.
The coaches for this season are Nader, Jerry Lovelace, Dan Oleksy, and Gage Mazzetti ’13. The coaches bring a large amount of hockey experience, so the players will be taught well on the ice.
The team has gained a few new faces which adds to the talent from the returning players of last season. New additions to the team include forward/defenseman Jack Fletcher ’15, defenseman Nick Kafatti ’15, forward Nicole Gumm ’15, forward/defenseman Kyle Andrzejewski ’16, and forward Thompson. Woelkers, Ketelhut, and Bavol have previously played for the hockey program, but they did not play last season.
Every Monday through Thursday the team has practice right after school, unless there is a game. This intense schedule increases the time that the team can get better and perfect their mistakes. Having four to six skates a week can be very tiring, but the LCN Varsity Hockey Team can handle it because each player is committed to getting better and each player loves the game of hockey.
“I like practice being almost every day because it keeps me motivated to get better along with the rest of the team,” said Bavol. “It is definitely a huge benefit for our team.”
The hockey team has a decent schedule ahead. They will play Anchor Bay which won both games last season, L’Anse Creuse which won all three meetings last year, Chippewa Valley, Ann Arbor Skyline, Stevenson and many other local Macomb Area Conference teams with the exception of Dakota and Eisenhower.
Many students who enjoy attending the hockey games are very excited about this season.
“I am very excited to be able to watch my friends from the hockey team snipe and celly [celebrate],” said Trevor Green ‘14.
Almost every game last season was packed with fans, and this season should be the same.
“The student section is always hype at the Clem,” said Austin Williams ‘15.
Many factors will determine whether or not the hockey team will perform to their best ability this season, but if their heads are focused all the time, it should be a fun and successful season. The team has a definite chance of winning the MAC White Division and going far into playoffs. With the veteran coaching and varsity level experience amongst the players, the LCN Varsity Hockey Team will have a successful year.

The L’Anse Creuse High School-North Varsity Hockey Team poses with former LCN students in the 2013 annual LCN Alumni Hockey Game for Joel Zito.

The L’Anse Creuse High School-North Varsity Hockey Team poses with former LCN students in the 2013 annual LCN Alumni Hockey Game for Joel Zito.