Hockey Season is Underway


Jed Coats, Sports Editor


Hockey season has begun, right under basketball’s nose.  Coming off of their championship season a year ago, expectations are high that they can do it all over again.  With players from four different schools–Belleville West, Belleville East, Gibault, and Althoff Catholic–they own a current record of 5-1-0–so it looks like they are on the right track so far. 

“Well to be honest with you, this is about what I expected out of our team.  We did not change much as a team and out philosophy is the same,” senior Sam Latinette said. 

As all athletes do, they had to train in the off season to prepare for the difficult season ahead.  Hockey is one of the more physically demanding sports, and requires its players to be well adapted to the toll it takes in a season. 

“During the summer we had practice every week, and worked hard.  Post tryouts we kept working hard and practiced our systems,” senior Matt Papachrisanthou said.

Even when official team practices began, the workload was not any lighter.

“To prepare we had to do about four miles of skating each practice,” senior Bryce Campo said.

Coach Swift has had a huge impact on athletes from all different sports, including hockey.  With all of the different weight training and flexibility training he helps athletes with, their game is greatly improved.

“I trained with Swift over the summer to get my agility up.  Coach Swift has helped me tremendously throughout my summer seasons to help me stay up on my conditioning,” Latinette said.

After coming off of the 2A MVCHA League Championship last season, they are eager to get back into the playoffs and do it all again.  With many of their players returning from last season, they still have most of the pieces to make a run.

“I’m looking forward to winning another championship.  I expect to keep winning and finish strong and on top in the regular season,” Papachrisanthou said.

The whole team feels this way; everyone is eager to show that they can do it. 

“The only thing on my mind is another championship.  I could care less about stats, as I have never been a statistic player.  I would rather have the team succeed than me have a nice stat line,” Latinette said.

After their big win last year, fans from each school have gotten behind the team, especially this season.

“This season feels like every other year except the crowd.  I love our fan section this year. The only goal I want to accomplish with this team is to win a championship,” Papachrisanthou said.