By: Claire Ripperger
PrideTime Sports Editor
I t’s no secret how deep the McMahon vs. Norwalk High rivalry runs however, the boys on the NorMac hockey team have no problem putting that aside when the skates hit the ice. This year it was on the junior captains, Cooper Gibson and Jeb Boyer, to unite the unlikely teammates.
Senator Cooper Gibson, has been playing hockey for ten years yet the rest of the team isn't as experienced. With such a young team, Gibson says it’s a challenge, “Not a lot of kids have too much experience so it's definitely a building year for us, but having a bunch of younger players keeps us excited for our season next year.”
On top of a young group of guys, Gibson and the other captains have to deal with working with their across town rivals. While he may be friends with the players from Norwalk High School, not everyone else is. He says, “I’m fine with it, however I understand why there could be a little tension between other kids, but we don’t worry about it in practice or games.” The Senator defenseman isn't going to let the rivalry or inexperience of the team ruin the season.
Jeb Boyer, a left wing/center captain from Norwalk High has a very similar outlook on the team and season. Due to only having a short schedule, Boyer stresses the early games to his teammates, “Not a lot of guys know how important early games in our season are, given we only have 20 games until the state tournament.”
He adds, “However, with a young team also comes positivity because we will build a strong core for following years as we are only graduating three seniors.” Boyer also feels having cross town rivals as teammates don't cause much tension. “For us it is different. Yeah, we mess around with each other and stuff but that’s just what teammates do. It doesn't even feel like our team is made up of kids from different schools.”
Next Game: NorMac vs. St. Joseph High School Saturday, January 19th