The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Icecats struggle in first season with new coach

Icecats+struggle+in+first+season+with+new+coach

For WJ’s club ice hockey team, this season has been a whole new experience from the start. After last year’s Varsity coach, Ed Delisi stepped down from the position, he left big shoes to new coach Trey to fill. Delisi had already been the JV team’s head coach and the Varsity team’s assistant coach in 2015-16, so he was well versed in relationships with the players and the overall chemistry of the team.

Replacing Delisi was former JV assistant coach Trey Stillwell, who had been coaching with Delisi for a season. While his current place in the team is cultivating connections with the underclassmen of the team, his impact only lasted a few months for the 13 seniors that make up the Varsity squad.

This lack of complete connection between seniors who make up half of the Icecats’ Varsity lineup is one of the many reasons for WJ’s lackluster performance this season. WJ finished sixth out of eight teams in the county’s top division, racking up just five wins and nine losses.

Though they never fully gained enough momentum to garner a chance in the playoffs, part of this team performance was a result of senior Owen Greene, who had been the starting goaltender for the Icecats in the past two seasons. After a season ending shoulder injury in January, Greene was forced to remain sidelined from competition while he received surgery and recovered. The team instead had to rely on two freshman goalies, Sean Raynor and Connor Stapleton to handle the workload which Greene had carried all year prior to his injury.

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“I’ve loved playing with this team for the past 4 years, so cutting my last season short was especially frustrating,” Greene said.

Even with the unfulfillment of not playing, Greene still sees a bright side for the future of WJ Ice Hockey.

“My injury forced me to keep off the ice for a while this season, and yes that did harm our defensive efforts a bit,” Greene said. “But honestly, this gave our younger goalies some much needed exposure to High School hockey.”

While the season may be over, this isn’t the last time the rest of the Icecat’s seniors can skate with the team. The team is participating in a Wounded Warriors fundraising event in Annapolis on March 11.

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About the Contributor
Jack Liden, Staff Writer
Now a Senior, this is Jack’s first year as a staff writer for The Pitch. With interest in sports, politics and the arts (especially music and cinema), Jack looks to bring unique commentary on both global and local stories. Outside of The Pitch, Jack has been a loyal WJ Icecat since Freshman year, and avidly pursues his passion of film-making in his free time.
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