Hockey Going to Ariz. Nationals

Nancy Kneip

Nancy Kneip

While many people will be spending their spring breaks lying out on various beaches soaking up the sun, there are a few students who will be heading south to play on the ice. This year, the hockey team has been invited to go to nationals in Arizona. Sixteen teams from all over the nation are invited annually to participate in the tournament.

Unlike in many other sports, the invitation to nationals does not stem solely from a good win/loss record. There are a lot of factors that are looked at when deciding which teams will be chosen to participate.

Coach Marty Schipull says that deciding which teams will go to nationals is an “inexact science.”

“There are teams from all over, and a lot of the time we don’t get a chance to play the teams from California and vice versa,” Schipull says.

Player Mike Schaub agrees. “Sometimes it is harder for South Dakota to get an invitation because a lot of the teams don’t see what kind of players we have,” he says.

The trip is made especially difficult because of the fact that, as a club sport, the hockey team has to do its own fundraising.

Schuab says that “sometimes it is hard to get funding for the program.”

None of this diminishes the fact that the players are excited to go, though. They have high expectations going into the tournament.

Forward Andy Schuster says, “Last time we went we didn’t expect anything and we ended up placing second.”

Schaub agrees. ” Everyone is really excited to go and compete for the championship,” he says.

While the hockey players may not be coming back from spring break with a tan, hopefully they’ll bring back something a little more tangible: a trophy.