In the winter of 2014, the Varsity Hockey team shocked everyone when they won the Section Championship. While they were crowned back-to-back champs the following season, the win was expected, as the team was loaded with talent. Last year, nearly all of the key players from the winning seasons had graduated. The team was inexperienced and in the midst of a building year. Ultimately, the team lost in the sectional semifinals to the eventual State Champions, the Mamaroneck Tigers. “This year we know we have the capability and talent needed to achieve our goals. Many of the upperclassmen, including myself, know what it is like to win championships. We know that as a group we have the potential to beat any team, which is exciting,” said Sam Seltzer ’18.
The captains of this year’s team are Spencer Schell ’17, Jonathan Schwartz ’17, Robbie Kramer ’17, and Sam Seltzer ’18. The hockey team is undergoing some changes, including a new head coach, as Jim Mancuso was replaced by Coach Kevin Wright. The transition to a new coach has gone smoothly. The players are learning a new system and are continuing to improve their skills and teamwork. “[Coach Wright] is a really positive guy, so if you mess up no one feels scared to go out and try again. He’s really helped each line gain chemistry with each other too and definitely has already gained all of our respect,” added Kramer ’17.
There are only four new players this year, but the team is quite different. “Last season we didn’t have as many skilled players, but we worked with what we had, which was great. My experience has changed over the years. Going from winning state championships to rebuilding has been different, but both experiences have been great,” explained Schwartz ’17. Many players expressed their commitment to the team and began demonstrating leadership this year.
Although there have been a few bumps in the road, including a devastating loss against Orchard Park, this season has been mostly a success. The team beat Suffern, an annual rival, and won their first game of the season. The players have high hopes for the 2016-17 season, “I think we are going to be really good…much better than people expect out of us. I’m expecting a solid playoff run with contributions from a lot of different players, not just our top guys, and hopefully at least a section chip,” said Kramer ’17.
by Katie Karp and Jason Sarachek