Like most other educational institutions, Haverford does not have its own hockey rink. And as a result, Fords Hockey lacks the training resources of Haverford’s other winter sports. Currently, the team practices throughout the week at a nearby hockey rink, but the rink’s limited availability prevents them from spending as much time as they would like on the ice. Consequently, maximizing ice time has been a top priority this year for the Fords.
Sixth Former Koby Degenhardt, a leader for Fords Hockey, said, “We have only had a few practices on the ice this season, but so far, our practices have been really productive. Since we have limited ice time this season, every single minute we spend on the ice matters.”
Following the previous season that resulted in only a single win, the Fords desperately wish to re-establish themselves as one of the top teams in their league, the ICHL.
Historically, Germantown Academy has served as the ICHL’s powerhouse, and will potentially be the team to beat this season. However, as each year sees the graduation of senior players and the entrance of new Third Formers, the Fords try not to spend their time focusing on the competition heading into the season.
“It is a different experience every year playing against the same group of schools. We are not really sure what to expect from the other teams since we haven’t faced any of them yet. And as we enter the season, we will have to make adjustments,” Degenhardt said.
With the season’s first games looming and only a few more weeks to prepare, the Fords are not looking outwards but instead are focused on improving themselves.
“Right now we can only control how hard we practice and work to improve.”Koby Degenhardt ’20
“Right now we can only control how hard we practice and work to improve,” Degenhardt said.
Degenhardt also suggested that the team had to take care of other necessities if they wish to perform well in the ICHL this season. The failure to address those necessities, Degenhardt added, contributed to the team’s less-than-satisfactory campaign last year
“To accomplish our larger goals,” Degenhardt said, “we know we will also need to accomplish smaller goals. Some of the team’s smaller goals for the year include improving the camaraderie from last year’s team and to play smarter.”
For Degenhardt and the team’s other leaders, promoting camaraderie is the primary focus.
“I am not the most skilled player on the ice,” Degenhgardt said. “But my presence on the team is definitely still felt since I’m one of the louder seniors. I try to help encourage a positive mentality and keep the team focused on the task at hand.”