Hockey Faces Trials Against Strong Competition
The varsity hockey team started their season with a couple of changes: new players replaced old ones that either graduated or got drafted into professional hockey and the team is now a member of the Municipal Conference among many private schools in St. Louis.
The season has started with ups and downs playing against challenging teams. They currently have a record of 3-3-2 as of Dec. 6.
Senior Devin Tockman, right winger, said the team not only faces the challenge of new players, but also joining the Municipal Conference has provided a new opportunity to play against competitive schools.
“It can be difficult to play against private schools considering a lot of their players can be recruits,” Tockman said. “However, we are working hard and we are recognized as one of the best hockey programs at the public school level.”
While schools are not allowed to recruit under Mid States Club Hockey Association (MSCHA) rules, they do draw upon a wider pool of student-athletes in the St. Louis area.
Tockman said he has also noticed a distinction between the current team and the previous year’s team.
“We lost a lot of great players to college last year, but with new people on the team, there is a new opportunity to step up,” Tockman said. “Having new kids involved develops an intensity at that next level. I just think everyone is chipping in and is there for each other.”
He said support from the MHS community constantly motivates the team and keeps them going, even through the losses.
Brady Stultz, senior, is a member of the “Stang Gang,” who has responded to positive reinforcement from athletes with the promise to be present at all their games.
“It’s not just hockey players, but all athletes have said that when the crowd is involved, the players play a lot better so our cheers and attitudes are important,” Stultz said. “We can also see that from how the game goes.”
Gary Tockman, hockey coach, said there is something unique this year compared to past years.
“In years past, some depended on the elite players to win, but now everyone is stepping up and supporting each other as a team,” Gary said. “Every game is a hard game, we just have to work hard each time.”
The varsity hockey team tied with Lafayette last Friday and will go on to play St. Louis Priory School on Monday and then De Smet Jesuit the following Friday.
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