Eagles on Ice

Laura Jones, Staff Reporter

The West High Hockey team is making a complete turnaround from two years ago and is hoping to win first place for state in the 2013-2014 season.

Last year, the West varsity boy’s hockey team did not make it to the state competition and tied for third place with Service High School.

The most recent state victory for the school was in 2010 when they defeated Dimond High School 2-0. The Dimond, South, and Service High School hockey teams have been consistently good teams.

Dimond took first place in state last year after beating South by four points in the championship game, while Service tied with West for third place.

“Dimond’s victory,” according to Dawson Ellingworth, West junior and third year varsity offensive player, “is not something we should take lightly. They have always been a good team and are full of seniors this year.”

Joe Chekan, returning West goalie, says that it will be tough to beat Dimond, but there’s always a chance. “We have some good talent and hard working players on the team,” Chekan states. “With some determination from us all, we should be able to do just as well as we did last year. Hopefully better!”

Optimism runs high for the team as they break out with some fresh new talent. West has lost a few key players and some feel this will take a toll on the team.

Kieran Kuiper, 2013 West graduate, had a competitive side that lead the team. Though he was more a football player than a hockey player, the drive to win was equal for both sports. “We’ll be looking for players to step up,” Chekan says when asked how he feels the team will do after losing some of the players from last year, like Kieran.

Ellingworth feels the players that have moved on from West will not take a toll on the team. “We have 14 returning players and ‘Big Joe’ back in the net,” he says. “We will do just as good- if not better- this year.”

Many returning players have the utmost confidence to place in the top three this year at regions and state. The players new to West are expected to bring a new style and fresh talent to the ice. Though only so much talent can be proven at a practice.

West’s first game is Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 against Wasilla. This will be an important game for the school as players will be put to the test as West is sized up by the competition.

As with any sport, the team will grow and improve as the season continues. West’s players are certainly anticipating the first game of the season to also be the first win of the season.

Hopefully, West will be able to uphold a good reputation throughout the regular season and excel during regions and state. The Eagles have won first place in state competitions for girls cross country running, tennis, and football. West’s confidence is certainly running high as we anticipate another state victory for the hockey boys!