MiHockey’s team-by-team breakdowns – seven pages worth – for the boys teams this high school hockey season.
Coach Wayne Tollon says his team’s best strength this season is that they have 17 seniors, 14 of which played together all of last season. Key players include captains Garrett FIlips, Ryan Korpal and Luke Thomas, goaltenders Andrew Woloszyk and Sean Korpal, and top players Tyler Andrews and Jason Grand. Discipline on the ice will be the key to a strong season.
Grand Ledge and Fowlerville will play as a unified squad this season, and coach Brian Clifford says how well the team “gels” will have a huge impact on the season. Key players include Adam “Juan” Epstein, Alec Faggion, Peyton Styles, and Wade Hugett. Their biggest strength? Senior leadership.
Grand Rapids Public
Coach Brian Bellgraph said he has been thrilled to see the dedication levels out of his inexperienced squad, as many of the players come from a recreational hockey program. He will be counting on leadership from captain Max Bultman, Cindy Davis and Jeremiah Dubbink. Bellgraph said his team will only go as far as their confidence goes, and that they need to build on successes, rather than focus on failures.
L’Anse Creuse North
L’Anse Creuse North is a young team, but one that will be fast and disciplined, according to coach Jon Nader. He will be counting on strong seasons from Gage Mazzetti, Gage Minkley, Aaron Wysocki, Vinnie Scarpaci, Trevor Frye, Brandon Alafriz, and Tyler Bliss as they try to bring five freshmen up to speed early in the season.
Canton will be looking for a three-peat as ‘Park’ champions this season (they share a campus with Plymouth and Salem high schools), but they will need a young team to mature fast to do so. Leading the way are returners Matt Cox, Christian Flack, Ian Fagan and Brad Ceci. Newcomers Matt Talioferro, Connor Wherret, Dillon Schlamp and Craig Allard are expected to make an immediate impact for the Chiefs.
Berkley had their best season since the program’s inception in 1999 last year, but lost seven seniors to graduation. That means coach Jeff Fleming will be leaning on goaltenders Stephen Wroe and Robbie MacDonald, defensemen Nolan Young, Keith Waldrup, Shane Goldberg and Alex Rawlik, and forwards Joey Leider, Curtis Carne, Zack Segall, Giani Bonnello, Sage Stuart, Jeremy Pazcos, Joe Wolynski, and Kyle Kube.
Despite graduating 15 seniors, LO coach Nick Field says he has a strong defensive core returning from last year’s OAA Red champions. He will be counting on strong seasons from senior David Otto and Mark Nylen, along with underclassmen Jordan Stross, Ryan Szydlowski, Drew Casey, Mark Kerchner, Connor Moesta, Kurt Latshaw, and goaltender Logan Aldrich.
Coach Lou Schmidt, Jr., says this year’s Brother Rice squad is smaller, but quicker, than last year’s D-2 state champions. They will be tested this year, as Brother Rice has made the jump to D-1. Seniors Andrew Roye, Russell Cicerone, Conner Duncan and Ross Haffney will be key players, as will Blake Bazzi, Conner Jean, Matthew Manning, Nick Rosa, Matt Riggelman, and goaltender Jack Bowman.
Coach Scott Stephens says the strength of the unified squad will be their goaltending, discipline and work ethic. Tyler Kuehl and Billy Russ lead the way between the pipes, joined by defenseman Jacob Cobb and forwards Calvin Wojtaszak, Scott Lacy and Jaelen Maslowski.
Pinckney will be tough to score against this season, according to coach Ted Kroll. Captain Gannon McLeskey and Mark Janiga lead the way on the blue line, while three senior goaltenders – Brandon Dolan, Justin Karamon and Shane Polich – will compete for starting time in goal. Pat Rogowski, Brandon Okurowski, Cooper Jenkins, Nolan Lefebvre and Michael Salata lead them up front.