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Seniors carry on the tradition in Eagle-Vail

BMH Kodi Wyatt SM 2-7
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Everything really changed for Battle Mountain hockey as the 2005-06 season started.

All of the originals were gone. A year before, the Class of 2004, which had started as sophomores, and made up a good chunk of Huskies Hockey: The First Edition, graduated. The team carried on though behind Austin what’s-his-name, Brad Myers and Casey Kleisinger and went 22-1 in 2004-05, but once they accepted their diplomas, what was going to happen to the hockey program?

Having posted a staggering 77-6-2 in the first four years the school had hockey, the team had a new coach in Gary Defina, primarily a group of untested sophomores ” a theme, maybe ” and had to carry on the mantle of a very successful program.

“I remember having a conversation with Sam (Sterling) at one of those practices early on,” Defina said. “I said, ‘Boy, I can’t wait to see what you guys will do as seniors.’ I remember that conversation, and here we are.”

Here we are, indeed, as it’s Senior Night for those sophomores as the Huskies host Pine Creek at 6 at Dobson Arena. As it turned out, the next generation has excelled to the tune of a 42-15-3 record. The Huskies won the old Metro League in 2006 and a considerably better Peak Conference this season.

The Class of 2008 has proven there is life after the likes of P.J. Bevan, Jason Chase and yes, Austin Chow.

While the Huskies want there to be four more games after Senior Night, we take a quick moment to salute the 11 seniors.

– Eric Davis: This is Eric The Red’s second season on the varsity, but he’s had a huge impact this year on the blueline. When you think defense and Battle Mountain, usually the names of Jonny Stevens and Connor Tedstrom come to mind. Davis’ name should too.

– Charlie Tedstrom: Speaking of all things Tedstrom, Charlie continues to put together a big senior year. After helping Huskies soccer to a fourth-straight league title, he applied the same formula to hockey ” hard work. He doesn’t have a captain’s C or an A on his sweater, but he’s definitely one of the team’s leaders.

– Zac Brust: Nice job, rookie. Brust finally broke through onto the varsity and made 2007-08 count. By the way, these first three seniors are all blueliners, showing you how deep this squad’s defense really is.

– Kodi Wyatt: He’s one of the original four of this class who played as freshmen, though his first year was brief with a broken collar bone. Wyatt’s one of the players who have turned the Huskies from small and fast to fast and “don’t mess with us, thank you.”

– Sam Sterling: The kid’s a playmaker. He’s a pivot who makes Battle Mountain hockey’s big guns look very good. Sterling’s also been huge on special teams this year.

– Ryan Maddux: He’s turned into one of the elite players in the state. When he is on, good luck stopping him. He’s big and fast and Palmer found that one out the hard way last month.

– Jake Lammert: OK, no more Eagle Valley jokes, guys. Come winter, the Devils senior wears black and gold well. Defina knew about Lammert a long time ago, though. He coached Lammert in Bantam Bs.

– Barrett Chow: It’s tough being a younger brother. It’s even tougher when you’re following Austin Chow. Barrett Chow is a hockey player in his own right. While he rightfully doesn’t like being compared with Austin, Chow does share one quality ” big goals in big games.

– Jonny Stevens: “In my opinion, he’s the best defenseman in the state,” Defina said. We don’t disagree.

– Taylor Beairsto: I’ve been putting that “i” in there since he was a Mite. In addition to having an often misspelled name, Beairsto is a much needed jack of all trades. A forward, he played defense when the Huskies were short there and he’s money on the penalty kill.

– McKenzie Stevens: She’s definitely one of the guys, and she’ll knock down opponents to prove it. McKenzie seems to have been born with skates on, and she’s skating on to Middlebury next fall. But not until another five games with Battle Mountain are done.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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