By Daniel Schoettler
Sports Correspondent

In the highly competitive Classic Eight Conference, the Kenosha Thunder co-op hockey program brings back several area representatives for another season, including Westosha Central senior goalie Joseph La Forge.

The Thunder, a Kenosha Unified School District program, also has players from Wilmot Union High School.

La Forge, who accounted for 671 saves last season, joins Tremper’s Ryan Cope and Cole Powers of Indian Trail as the Thunder’s leading returners.

Last year, Cope finished second among Thunder players with nine points, including five goals.

Kenosha coach J.R. Litkey, meanwhile, will also rely on Wilmot junior Evan Hahn and Westosha Central’s Cole Stalker.

“Evan is a solid defenseman and we’re looking for him to fill a big role this year,” Litkey said. “I hope Cole (Stalker) develops into a good hockey player as well.”

Including the junior varsity ranks, players coming from Wilmot are Dylan Starzak, Tony Troyer, Molly Jastrab and Dominic Stoller.

Westosha Central is represented by Braydin Lupi, Cam Anderson, Magnus Schroeder, Michael Ash and Roberto Velazquez.

Strong competition
Litkey considers the Classic Eight Conference one of the most dominant conferences in Wisconsin.

In 2017-18, the Classic Eight Conference sent Waukesha to the WIAA state meet for the third straight year. The conference had two other sectional finalists, Marquette University High School and University School of Milwaukee, along with sectional semifinalist Kettle Moraine.

“It is like the murder’s row of high school hockey,” Litkey said. “Waukesha, Kettle Moraine, and Arrowhead are in our conference, and every year one to three of those teams are in the Elite Eight or Final Four in the state.”

Other teams in the Classic Eight are Brookfield and Greendale.

Experiencing growth
In 2016-17, the Thunder finished its season 11-12, but produced a stellar run in the post season play.

The following year, after several seniors graduated, Kenosha dropped to 3-20.

“For the last four to five years, we have graduated double digit classes, and we have had big groups of kids come through,” Litkey said. “It kind of caught up to us here, we graduated 9-10 kids last year, and we are running out of bodies.”

Graduates included Westosha Central’s Chase Erickson (defender), Cole Hoffman (forward) and forward Niles O’Brien of Wilmot.

Kenosha started its season last weekend, when they played Brother Rice, Whitefish Bay and Brookfield, coming away with losses.

The Thunder continues it season Friday at Bay Port before playing De Pere on Dec. 1.

Kenosha, which plays its games at the Pleasant Prairie IcePlex, does not have a home contest until Dec. 27 when Madison La Follette/Madison East make a visit.

 
 

No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment