St. Mary’s High School gearing up for inaugural season on the ice
Derek Eisler has been around the block, so to speak.
Having coached at various levels over the past 25-plus years, including with the San Jose Sharks, he’s been part of start-up teams and programs and will bring that knowledge to St. Mary’s High School for the 2018-19 season.
Located in Stockton, St. Mary’s is sponsoring hockey for the first time, and Eisler is excited to get started.
“The goal in all of this is to put on the skates daily and get better,” Eisler said. “It is a process of building. We have mentioned to the players and the staff that in a year of all firsts it is great to just have the ability to define your direction on a daily basis.”
The Rams will play in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) this season with a full schedule, something Eisler said will help his group in playing the league’s top teams right from the outset.
“Blessed to be a part of the league, and we are looking at this league and the NAHL Prep League to be highly competitive for our team,” said Eisler. “Throughout the year, we will hopefully increase our rate of play so our league play just continues to move up the ladder. We want to be close to the top of the table in both leagues, and play good, efficient hockey at the level we can be solid with.”
The St. Mary’s roster is a mix of talented freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors. And even with a handful of players new to this level of hockey, Eisler is ready for the challenge.
“We challenged our players already to be the right people to develop the St Mary’s hockey culture and so far during practice and other team-related activities, the staff has seen players connecting well and also competing well in the weight room,” said Eisler. “It seems minds are directed in achieving our commitment goals for the first year of the program. We have picked Titus 2:11-12 for our yearly Bible verse. We want to be a team that does thing differently, lives self-controlled, personally and together as a group. Challenge is there now it is up to the people here to accept it.”
The 2018-19 season kicked off Sept. 8-9 with two games against Bellarmine and the Rams next play Sept. 28-30 at the Fountain Valley Showcase in Colorado Springs. The Rams’ first ADHSHL games are scheduled for Oct. 12-13 in South Santa Ana.
Home games are played at Oak Park Ice Rink.
St. Mary’s will venture to Minnesota and Michigan in the New Year for NAHL Prep League games and playoffs.
“Expectations are pretty simple for Year 1 – we want to play competitive hockey and teach players that academics are very important in their athletic development,” Eisler said. “We think there are some players here now that with this program will achieve really good things in hockey because they are very smart students and can translate that into a high hockey IQ so we as a program can place players to the situations they want to go to out of high school.
“St Mary’s hockey is not going to ever put the players’ academics at risk, very few days of school will be missed, and the seasonal development will be monitored well.”
2018-19 ST. MARY’S HIGH SCHOOL ROSTER
Anthony Alvarado, Fr.
Joseph Banana, Sr.
Itay Bonder, Fr.
Clayton Brown, Jr.
Maxwell Clark, Jr.
Stryder Davis, So.
Alexander Gunnoe, Sr.
Jack Hansen, Jr.
Hunter Hayes, Fr.
Sean Keough, Jr.
Kyle Lathan, So.
Saar Medvedovski, So.
Luca Petroni, Fr.
Ethan Saldanha, Jr.
Tristan Telles, So.
2018-19 ST. MARY’S HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Sept. 8, Bellarmine, at San Jose
Sept. 9, Bellarmine, at Stockton
Sept. 28-30, Fountain Valley Showcase, at Colorado Springs
Oct. 12-13, ADHSHL Games, at South Santa Ana
Oct. 19-21, NAHL Prep Games, at Minnesota
Nov. 2-3, ADHSHL Games, at San Jose
Nov. 10, ADHSHL vs. Tahoe, at Tahoe
Nov. 11, ADHSHL vs. Tahoe, at Stockton
Nov. 30-Dec. 2, NAHL Prep Games, at Minnesota
Dec. 14-15, ADHSHL Games (South), at Santa Ana
Jan. 11-12, ADHSHL Games (North), at San Jose
Jan. 18-20, NAHL Prep Playoffs, at Michigan
Feb. 8-9, ADHSHL Games (South), at Santa Ana
Feb 16-18, TBD
Mar. 2-3, Tahoe, at Stockton
Mar. 16-18, TBD
TBD: CAHA State Championship & USA Hockey National Tournament
— Matt Mackinder
(Sept. 25, 2018)