New Roles for Coach, Players at Start of TWHS Ice Hockey Season


TWHS Ice Hockey players huddle up during a timeout against WKHS

Thomas Hayward

The pressure is building on the Thomas Worthington Ice Hockey team as they head into their upcoming season. There are high expectations for the team as they follow up the best season the team has played since 2003, making it all the way to the district semi-finals. Along with having to follow up a phenomenal season, the team lost 8 seniors, meaning that going into this season, the bench has been shortened and more younger players will have to step up and distinguish themselves as leaders among the team.

Over the off-season, the team lost their long-time head coach Bill McGill. For the last 8 years, Coach McGill had coached the team to new heights and brought some of the most successful seasons ever. The coach selected to take his place was last year’s assistant coach Andrew Stowe. Coach Stowe has a name in Worthington as an alumnus of the program. He was part of the 2003 District Championship team and he still holds many of the scoring records from his time playing. With Coach Stowe, the program is looking bright as he hopes to continue the great success of years past.

Coach Stowe talked about this upcoming season.

“Our goals for the season aren’t necessarily rooted in wins or losses,” says Stowe. “We have three overarching goals and expectations for the team this year. 1.) Compete. We expect everyone, whether Freshman or Senior, to strive to compete and work hard every time we’re on the ice, particularly in practice. 2.) Develop. We expect the team to come to practice ready to be coached, to push beyond their comfort zones, and work hard to get 1% better every day. 3.) Have Fun. The most important theme for the season. Sports are supposed to be fun and enjoyable – trying to ensure we have that in mind at all times,” continued Stowe.

Stowe plans to build on the foundation left by former coach McGill.

“In order to meet these expectations, as coaches, we’re looking to build new practice plans, introduce some unconventional methods/drills throughout the season, and hopefully create some new traditions to help instill some of the above,” reflects Stowe.

There is no doubt that the shortened roster will affect the season. “With this year’s roster, we’ll look to be a bit more flexible positionally. We’ll likely need players willing and able to play defense as well as all three forward positions even within the same game at times. We’ll also need to focus on playing smart and disciplined hockey since we cannot afford to have players sitting in the penalty box for 2 min, let alone 5min or 10min (depending on the infraction).”

Despite being a new coach facing some challenges in the upcoming season, Coach Stowe is fulling prepared for this season. Along with Assitant coach Ben Bezaire, the coaches hope to bring on the best season yet.

The Cards have gotten off to a good start, going 1 and 1 in their first two games. Their opening game against Kilbourne was a success, with the Cards coming out on top 4-1. A great student turnout made the environment electric and led to a great mentality on the bench. After a great start, they fell just short of very successful Upper Arlington, who finished 6th in the state last season.

“We lost a lot of people last year, but we have a strong core that will hopefully carry us through to have a successful season,” said senior Elliott Hartwick.

Their next game is on Friday at the Chiller North against vs. Cincinnati Moeller.