Boys’ Hockey Finds Success With 2A

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Elena Gill

The Boys' Hockey team competes against the Eagles from Eden Prairie in the state semi-final game, eventually losing 4-1.

The Boys’ Hockey team has had a very successful season thus far with their new Head Coach Rob McClanahan. McClanahan was on the U.S. Olympic team in 1980 and a part of the team that beat the Soviet Union who had held the gold medal for many years prior.

He is a well-known hockey player and now uses his skills and love of the game to coach the Boys’ Varsity team this year.

McClanahan originally stepped into the coaching position as an interim coach this year, while the Athletic Directors were going to take the season to find a replacement, but it was recently announced that McClanahan will be coming back next season and staying on as the head coach.

Despite having a brand new head coach this year, Thomas Nelson ’21 says, “I think our team has definitely gotten closer, we only lost two seniors last year so pretty much everyone else was together last year, and Coach [McClanahan] does a very good job of encouraging teamwork and team building activities.”

Many on the team hope that this close-knit group of guys and past success this season will help them do well in sections as they faced tough competitors such as Edina and Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

The team’s recent win over Edina will go down in the Boys Hockey history as it was the first time that the boys had beaten them in years. Nelson says, beating Edina was amazing, they ended our season last year and they are always an incredibly hard team to beat, in playoffs especially. Ryan Ressemann ’21 adds that “beating Edina means everything to us.”

The team’s success over Edina partly stemmed from high expectations for the team that McClanahan has instilled as a part of the team culture as head coach this year. Nelson says, “there is definitely an encouraging environment and we all want to see each other succeed. Everyone is currently very focused on our common goals and how to achieve them together,” Ressemann says, “we are all taking it one game at a time.”

Many on the team believe that the transition to a new head coach this year proved to be more or less a seamless process and appreciate the fact McClanahan has been a Blake parent, so he understands what it means to be a student athlete at Blake. Ressemann adds, “Coach Mac pushes us every day to get better and it has helped us this year.”

The team’s energetic nature and supportiveness along with a brand new and dedicated coach has allowed for the team to have a very successful season so far. Ressemann adds, “We are always pushing each other to get better in practice and in games and I think it has shown. When it comes down to it, we are always there for each other.”