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Lisa Chen, Life Editor

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Shannon Asiala
1.) Brandon McNeal (10) prepares for the faceoff against Snider, with the intention of winning the game.


While the cold winter elements may not be everyone’s favorite weather type, the below-freezing conditions create an ideal setting for a group of students’ favorite sport. Although the hockey team practices and plays indoor at Canlan Ice Sports, the winter scene enhances the experience of their season.
The Spartan Hockey Team is a club team that plays in the Fort Wayne Area High School Hockey League, comprised of teams such as Bishop Dwenger, Carroll, and Leo. However, the Spartans also face crossover games in which they play teams from separate leagues, such as Hamilton Southeastern, Brebeuf, and Westfield. Because hockey is not sanctioned by the IHSAA, Indiana High School Athletic Association, it is not considered a school sport.
“Hockey, being a club sport, you can see the difference between the two mainly with the amount of students attending the game,” Travis Bauer (12) said.
While IHSAA sanctioned sports at the school, such as basketball and football, receive the support of the student section, hockey often does not.
Despite fewer students attending the games, the players still feel the progress and successes achieved this season.
“We’ve had ups and downs, but lately I think we’ve been bringing it back and getting the team together,” Philippe Nicol (12) said.
At the beginning of the season, the team faced challenges such as a lack of cohesion.
“The season has been decent so far,” Bauer said. “We are a pretty young team so we have had our struggles.”
Team practices and drills allow the Spartans to see the improvement from the beginning of the season to now.
“We do a lot of teamwork at practice,” Nicol said. “We work on drills to get up and down the ice easier and to get passes to one another better. We practice on Monday and Thursdays.”
Hockey differs from most sports because of its speed. The speed that players can reach on the ice and the speed of the puck allows constant back and forth plays between players and teams. Players only have 18 seconds to substitute for each other, as opposed to other team sports where there are multiple stops in play during a game.
“It’s a pretty fast paced sport and it’s very physical,” Nicol said. “I think it’s a lot of fun to watch because you get to see a lot of different people working together to get something done.”
Although hockey is not considered a popular sport in Indiana, players on the team started practicing at a young age.
“I had been playing hockey for a few years before, so playing hockey for Homestead was a perfect fit at the high school level,” Bauer said.
Ultimately, players enjoy and love the sport because of its uniqueness.
“My favorite part about the sport is how fast everything moves,” Nicol said. “The speed of the game is fun.”
Head out to the hockey games on Wednesdays at Canlan Ice Sports to see what the sport is all about.

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