By Joshua Moro ‘17
Even before school started, the hockey team was in full force getting ready for the long and strenuous six month season. The Crusaders in the 2016-2017 season will have two full roster, a team in both the JV and varsity levels. Tryouts, which occurred from August 15 through the 18th, gave the players an opportunity to show off their skills and also reveal how they improved over the offseason. During the summer, many Crusaders skated in rigorous skills camps to stay conditioned and focused for the upcoming season; Varsity Head Coach Paul Manning stated, “Lots of kids worked hard over the offseason, which will transfer into a successful season.”
The Brother Rice hockey program has grown tremendously over the last two years both in number of players and in success. With this blooming success, expectations are running high on the ice. Goals for this year seem very clear cut: “To win the Kennedy Cup,” says Coach Manning. However, before bringing home the cup, the team must come together as one, continue to strengthen the program, and make it further into playoffs according to Coach Manning and Assistant Captain Steven Susmarski. With the overall talent on the team, the Crusaders have a great chance of bringing the Kennedy Cup back to Rice.
Before Rice breaks open its regular season against Marist on September 29, 2016, the team will participate in two tournaments. On the weekend of September 9-12, they will play against local high schools like Wheaton West, Waubonsie, and Glenbrook South in a preseason tournament. Later in the month, the team will also travel north to Detroit to take on out-of-state competition in the Belle Tire Back to School Tournament. The team looks to do well in the two tournaments but are also looking for high level competition to prepare for the upcoming Chicago Catholic League.