Title down: After state championship, Warriors chase national crown

Izzie Hayes/Staff Writer

The Warrior hockey team ended the season with a record of 34-1 and the state title; however, the season isn’t completely over for the Warriors. They have been invited to participate in the hockey Nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 21 through the 25.

The Warriors are a non-profit organization that relies on fundraising to send the team to Utah in March.

Staci Jackson is the team’s representative.

“We will be paying for the trip entirely by donations being made to the team by some area businesses and individuals and also from our fundraising efforts. Some of our fundraising efforts were the raffles that we held at the Pack the Arena night for our games against the Des Moines Oak Leafs back in January and during our White Out Weekend for our games against the Cedar Rapids Roughriders at the beginning of February,” Jackson said.

However, going to Nationals will bring on competition that the team has not seen before. Though the thought may be daunting, the team does not feel any more pressure to do well at Nationals.

“They don’t have higher expectations for the National Tournament. They try to keep the team on an even keel and take it one game at a time whether they are playing a regular season game, a league tournament game or playing at the national level,” Jackson said.

The team expects the competition to be hard but does not think it is something they cannot over come. Junior team member Jon Skarlis said he thinks the team will be able to handle the competition.

“It will definitely be a test for us, but we are going to make sure we are prepared for it. Our goal is to win just like the tournament in Wisconsin,” Skarlis said.

After a big state tournament win on Sunday, Feb. 26, against Kansas City, the Warriors will be taking a few days off before resuming their normal practice schedule before heading to the national tournament.

“We are trying to keep things the same because they have worked for us all year,” Skarlis said.

For the four seniors that play for the Warriors, it will be their last time playing as Waterloo Warriors. Many seniors feel as though the last time they play as a part of their high school team is a tear-jerking experience. However, Skarlis said he feels as though the seniors know they have proved themselves to the league.

“We all have a role on this team, and no matter what happens at nationals, we still had one of the best years Waterloo hockey has ever seen,” Skarlis said.

Class of 2014

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