By Nevada Leslie
The puck is about to be dropped on a season of change for Walled Lake Central Hockey. The first major change that has already began to take effect is the coaching staff. Science teacher and baseball coach Ken LaCross will be taking over for Coach Gary Quitiquit who has retired. Along with LaCross will be two assistant coaches who are in the process of being finalized. The two prospects for assistant are a WLC alumnus and a WLN alumnus who played in high school and after.
In addition to new coaches, the team, which saw the majority of its players graduate last year, is looking for new players. As of right now there are seven returning players who are ready to hit the ice. LaCross is expecting the team to do well and is hopeful some senior leadership will show soon to gain more player and become a better team.
A September 21 organizational meeting was packed full with information for the seven committed players and their parents. It began with the boosters officially introducing LaCross as head coach. After being introduced, Coach LaCross discussed his team philosophy which included “taking pride in your team, having integrity, being committed, and making sacrifices for the betterment of the team.” Coach also asked the boys to promote the team, as they are in dire need of recruiting players.
Another big change this year that Coach discussed is helping boys without equipment play. Coach is doing this by asking all parents and players (even students!) to donate gently used equipment so it can be given to boys that do not have any but would like to join the team. Any equipment can be dropped off in B210.
As of right now, it is hard to say whether there will be only a varsity team or both a junior varsity and varsity team as this has varied from year to year. “It’s entirely up to the student-athletes here and whether they choose to play high school hockey for Walled Lake Central,” said Coach LaCross. But, he is trying his best to get enough boys which he is doing by advertising the team on a daily basis using personal contacts, emails, flyers, and the morning announcements.