The Lakers during their home opener against New Trier High School.
The Boys in Black
Tyler Miller
The Lakers during their home opener against New Trier High School.

The Boys in Black

The Lakers varsity team coming off a successful tournament look to continue their success over the weekend and throughout the season.

Coming off a successful weekend at the Kings Kup preseason tournament in West Dundee, the Lakers look forward to the beginning of the season. The team is working diligently on building strength, power and speed. Assistant Varsity Coach Charlie Vander-Ploeg and players senior Aydin Zakroczymski and junior Keith Watkins give their insights on the season so far and their expectations for a successful season.

Senior Aydin Zakroczymski and junior Keith Watkins. (Sam Hanes)

Preparations have already started with practices three days a week with additional off-ice training every other week. The Lakers are hopeful to dominate the league this year and to play strong against teams that may give them a run for their money.

Vander-Ploeg believes that the team’s success this year will mainly depend on the team’s ability to work together as a cohesive unit. 

“Camaraderie, working as a team. Hockey is definitely not an individual sport,” Vander-Ploeg said. “If you want to get somewhere with it, you have to do it together.”

Story continues below advertisement

In line with Vander-Ploeg, many of the players also believe that camaraderie will be a key success point during this season.

Zakroczymski, who plays left wing, also believes that becoming a family rather than just a team is crucial to a triumphant season.

“I think it’ll just be everyone being able to bond together, become a family as a team, and really just have fun,” Zakroczymski said. “That’s what it’s all about for me is having fun with the boys and putting pucks in the goals.”

The beginning of the season can be an exciting yet unknowing time, as the team is learning their strengths and working out their kinks. When asked about the expectations for their season opener against New Trier, defenseman Watkins’ goals were to come out strong and make a statement to the other teams.

“I have high hopes. I want there to be a lot of people; I want our team to do good. I want us to win and score,” Watkins said. 

At the King’s Kup tournament, the Lakers already seemed to make their presence known to other teams. During the third period of the championship game against the Belvidere Fury, a brawl broke out, ending with players on both sides being removed from the game, one of them being Zakroczymski. He notes how fights can often cause a higher sense of drive and emotion during the game and ones to follow.

“Everyone will have a little chip on their shoulder, especially the people in that fight,” Zakrocymski said. “They’ll be wanting to prove a point next time they step out on the ice.”

One of the team’s most important goals for the season is to build upon their strengths to help them stand out against their opponents. Vander-Ploeg believes that the team’s gameplay and determination are the crucial elements that will set the team apart this season.

“I think just playing our style of play, and not worrying about anything else and just staying focused on what our job is as a team,” Vander Ploeg said.  “That really will set us apart, and let us excel in terms of we’re playing to.”

As the beginning of the season is already upon the team, the Lakers hope to continue these improvements throughout the season. With goals set for the season, the team is continuously working hard in anticipation of their games against rivals such as Yeti, Belvidere and New Trier. The Lakers are hopeful that by unifying their team and playing to their strengths, they will have nothing short of a successful run this season.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Sam Hanes
Sam Hanes, Tom Tom Staff
Sam Hanes is a senior and this is his first year on staff. In his free time, Sam likes to work out, play drums, listen to music, and play hockey for The Lakers. This year, Sam hopes to have a chill and fun year, then go on to attend Illinois State University to play hockey and study kinesiology.
Tyler Miller
Tyler Miller, Tom Tom Staff

Comments (0)

We encourage constructive and meaningful discussions while maintaining a safe and welcoming environment. Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and avoid personal attacks or derogatory language. Our team moderates the comments to ensure compliance with our policy and reserves the right to remove any content that violates these guidelines. We value open dialogue and diverse perspectives, and aim to foster a positive online experience for all users.
All Sequoit Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *