Posted at: 02/04/2014 3:14 PM
Updated at: 02/04/2014 10:49 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
There's a certain tradition at Hermantown that's respected by every Hawk. If you want to play, you have to earn it.
"Seniors lead, juniors follow, and sophomores just watch and learn," said Scott Wasbotten, Hermantown senior captain.
Head coach Bruce Plante says the talent pool in their small town is deep.
"When you put three grades together, tenth, eleventh and twelfth, there's good players in every class," Plante said. "They have to be willing to compete for a spot now, whereas a number of years ago anybody who could skate and handle a stick got to play."
"Everybody wants to play for Hermantown, especially me," said Luke Jacques, Hermantown senior center." "If you get to play in a starting role, I think it's a really good accomplishment."
With that tradition comes consistency, according to Jacques.
"Every year we play similar to the previous years," he said. "Work hard, grind it out, put pucks on the net, that's what we do most. We're very creative with the puck, I think, as a team."
Hermantown has been at the top of Class A all season. But the playoffs are approaching, and this year the Hawks will compete in Section 7A among their Northland rivals.
"Rhere's a lot of good competition there," Wasbotten said. "We like to play those teams, a lot of close rivals, so it'll be a good section."
Defenseman Zach Kramer says the Hawks' will stay the course, not making any big changes down the home stretch.
"Sticking to the basics, just passing the puck really well," Kramer said. "Just playing as a team basically instead of as individuals. That's always been our motto and that's how we do so well. If we stick to that, we should be pretty good."
Their commitment to the team could be the key to making another run at state.
"They listen and learn and they get after it," Plante said. "They're smart kids. They don't make a lot of mistakes tactically. They've made themselves a good team by being good teammates."