WINTER REVIEW: Marshall battles through up-and-down season
MARSHALL — Last year, the Marshall boys hockey team graduated 11 seniors, leaving a young roster to fill in its place. Marshall went through an up-and-down season, posting a record of 5-14.
Marshall assistant coach Jim Haynes said despite the final outcome of their season, they were happy to be able to have a season at all and felt they showed signs of progress throughout the season.
“Considering the fact that we didn’t know if we were even going to have a season and then having it keep getting pushed back, we were grateful to have a season and could do something more normal,” Haynes said. “Competitively, it was a tough year, but as far as coming together and improving, I’m glad there wasn’t a complete void, especially for the new guys on the team and they were able to get a lot of experience.”
MHS had a tough start to the season, dropping its first five games before defeating Fairmont in back-to-back games on Feb. 5 and 9 with a combined 16 goals. But then Marshall fell in eight of its next nine with the lone win coming against Redwood Valley on Feb. 18 before winning consecutive games to close out the regular season. In the Section 3A tournament, Marshall battled against Worthington and were able to force an overtime period in the final minute of regulation before the Trojans earned a 5-4 victory in double overtime on March 16.
Marshall had a mix of veteran leaders and youth this season, led by the team’s five seniors in Jackson Bladholm, Cooper VanOverbeke, Colbey Denson, Grant Horvath and Justin Cavazos. Marshall also had several younger players step up and make key contributions this season, including juniors Jared Reinsma, Braxton Meyer, Wyatt Boerboom and Logan Deutz, sophomores Sean Nwaiga, Corbin Beernaert and Ezra Maurice and freshman Talan Plante.
“Most of the underclassmen got thrown into the deep end and did a lot for us, so it was a trial by fire,” Haynes said. “For the most part, they handled the adversity well and they all worked hard and improved under a lot of pressure.”
Going into next year, Haynes said they want to take everything they learned from this season and use it as motivation and they’ll need to be ready to go right away.
“With the lumps we took this year and not having the results we wanted, we want to build on that and use it as motivation and just knowing we can improve and put ourselves in a better position,” Haynes said. “We’ve got a lot of younger guys who want to work hard, so we just need to come in prepared right from the start.”