Posted at: 12/16/2013 7:49 PM
Updated at: 12/17/2013 11:33 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Tradition isn't just important to Duluth Marshall, its in their blood.
"Our school is filled with tradition and we have slide shows all the time about Topper history," said Joe Daly, Marshall senior wing. "It's part of us."
Last weekend the Hilltoppers honored their heritage by bringing back some Duluth Cathedral alumni. Head coach Brendan Flaherty says the school's tradition of excellence is decades old.
"In the sixties the Toppers won five straight independent state championships," Flaherty said. "We want to kind of bridge the gap between the old Duluth Cathedral teams and the Marshall teams."
Also part of the celebration, the team wore throwback jerseys. Marshall seniors Luke Pavelich and Lane Eliason say it was an honor.
"It's a new experience," Pavelich said. "A lot of us haven't gotten to put on one of these jerseys before and it'll be a good thing to recognize the history behind the school."
"We're representing all the old teams, the alumni," Eliason said. "We're representing them and wearing their jerseys."
This era of Hilltopper hockey has some traditions of its own. Marshall has made back-to-back state tournament appearances.
"Making it last year was a big thing," Pavelich said. "Hopefully this year we can do the same and hopefully have a little more success."
To get there again, senior Joe Daly knows leadership will be key.
"The underclassmen are looking to you to make decisions, and you have to be there for them and lead with example by working hard," Daly said. "It's different but it's a role that we're all ready to take."
Before they can think about the tourney, Marshall has to play through a grueling schedule. But the Toppers believe in their potential.
"We have goals to get back to state like a lot of teams do," Flaherty said. "But I think if we stay centered and focused on a game at a time, we seem to do best that way."
"If everyone is putting in a good effort and hard work, then I don't think there is much that can stop us," Pavelich said. lk, ews.>