Warrior hockey anticipates another state title

Ali Miller/Staff Writer

Head coach Shawn Weinke of the Warrior hockey team is expecting yet another state title this year, and with the team being in fourth place and having a record of 10-4-1-3, it looks like a pretty strong possibility.

This year, the team consists of 35 players for both JV and varsity, and that’s a little over what the past years numbers have been. The season started Oct. 1 and continues through the second week in March.

With the boys practicing for two hours every day on the ice, plus the Varsity doing dry land training for another hour after that two days a week, it’s easy to see where their skills for success begin. Most of the boys focus on their hockey strength during the off season, too. They lift weights and go to summer hockey camps.

“We use the regular season to prepare individuals to be their best helping the whole team be sucessful,” Weinke said.

Overall, there are eight area schools involved in the hockey contests, including two from Cedar Rapids. The farthest the Warriors have to travel ranges from Kansas City to Lincoln to Omaha to Sioux City, and this year there’s a new team in Sioux Falls. Out of all their games and competitors, Weinke said playing the Des Moines Capitals is not only their biggest competition, but their favorite game of the season. “All of the games are tough, but we love playing them. This was the team we beat in the championship last year,” Weinke said.

This year there are three returning varsity state champs and letterwinners from Cedar Falls. All of the CF boys play a very big role on the team whether it be on the varsity or JV teams.

In order to get on the team, all need to try out. Tryouts are held during the summer, and a lot of the kids come through the Jr. Hawk program, the “feeder program.” They range in age from 4 to 15 years old. Strength is not the only factor in the players, Weinke explained, “They must be very dedicated because it is such a long year. We have very high expectations for our organization. With that being said, it is also very rewarding for the players who make the decision to give 110 percent.”

With extremely high expectations clearly stated, the head coach said he feels confident about not only the rest of the season, but also the state championships. “We always want to be peaking and playing our best team hockey at the end of the year. And this year is no different. We expect to be in the championship.”

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