Sheboygan Red Raiders skip WIAA season
SHEBOYGAN HOCKEY PREVIEW
The high school season started Nov. 16, but because of school district decisions related to the Coronavirus, the Red Raiders first day of practice was delayed until Thursday. Their first game was not until January.
So the team’s booster club held a virtual meeting and parents voted to play in the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association mostly because of five extra weeks of games.
“WAHA gave the kids an alternative to continue playing and progress in the game,” second-year Red Raiders coach Bill Sunagel said. “I kind of left it in (parents’) hands. I want the kids to be able to play, develop, enjoy their youth.”
However, per WIAA rules, Sunagel cannot coach the squad in the WAHA.
“I miss it,” he said.
Kevin Collien is the coach of the team, which is known as Sheboygan Lakers High School Hockey.
The Lakers hosted three games this past weekend at the Blue Line Ice Center – the same rink the Red Raiders call home – and there will be a total of around 12 more contests overall compared to the WIAA schedule this year.
The Lakers play other high schools who are not having a season, such as those from Dane County, and can also take on teams that are underway in the WIAA.
“I want the kids to be happy, but we have to learn how to be safe and respectful of one another,” Sunagel said.
Most of the Red Raiders are on the Lakers’ roster, but Plymouth senior Tyler Sunagel is playing juniors in St. Louis.
Last year, he made second-team all-Fox River Classic Conference after sharing the team lead with 17 assists and ranking second with 13 goals and 30 points.
“That’s always hard to replace offense like that,” Collien said. “I know Tyler’s definitely an offensive force. But I’m working with our forwards to sharpen our skills and get them ready.
“My theory is next man up. It’s a new season.”
Junior Jack Louko (Sheboygan Falls) will also be missed.
He is on the Milwaukee Admirals U-18 squad after leading Sheboygan with 33 points and 16 goals last year to receive all-FRCC honorable mention for the second consecutive time.
Two players who also earned honorable mention last year are back in senior Maclane Schick (Kohler) and junior Will Falconer (Manitowoc Roncalli).
Falconer, a defenseman, was third on the team with 18 points and 15 assists to land on the honorable mention team for the second year in a row.
“I’m excited to have Will,” Collien said. “He’s an excellent player, well-rounded, works hard, does everything the right way. So it’s good to have a guy like him back.”
The goalie Schick was called the Red Raiders’ most valuable player by Sunagel last season after finishing with a .909 save percentage and an average of 2.63 goals allowed per game.
“It’s good to have his leadership back there and a solid netminder,” Collien said.
MASK WITHIN A MASK
Players have to wear them in games, and Collien says part of hockey is adapting and overcoming.
“Not everybody likes it or wants to do it, but it’s just like when a referee makes a bad call or a call you don’t like, you just respect it and move on and deal with it,” said Collien, who lives in Fond du Lac. “You don’t worry about it. It’s not going to help you at all. (Coronavirus) is unfortunate, but it’s also got some life-lessons built in with it.
“It’s another obstacle we have to overcome.”
AT A GLANCE
• Kevin Collien is coach of the WAHA team because WIAA rules do not allow Bill Sunagel, who was hired to run the high school program last season.
• Four players made all-Fox River Classic Conference last season but only two return. Kohler senior goalie Maclane Schick and Roncalli junior defenseman Will Falconer both made honorable mention.
No. Name Year
1 Maclane Schick Sr
2 Brennan Hynek Jr
3 Jackson Schmitz Sr
4 Zach Tuzinkewich Jr
5 Colin Kurtz Sr
6 Nolan Buchaklian Fr
7 Brock Bulkow So
8 Noah Fibiger So
9 Zander Cucinello So
10 Dylan Videtic So
11 Ryan Kraus Sr
12 Meier Schick Jr
13 Kip Humke Jr
14 Ian Ledermann So
15 Justin Cagle So
16 Will Falconer Jr
17 Gaven Marx Fr
18 Will Johnson So
19 Blake Allen So
20 Jacob Crispin So
21 Jonah Bekkum Sr
23 William Kapic Jr
29 T.J. Bergen So
34 Cam Nennig Jr
75 Drake Moberg Fr
Dec. 4 DePere 7:30
Dec. 5 at WNS 6:15
Dec. 8 West Bend 7:00
Dec. 11 at Fox Cities 7:00
Dec. 15 at SM Springs 7:30
Dec. 19 at Cedarburg 1:30
Dec. 20 at New Berlin 10:30
Dec. 31 Ashwaubenon 12:00
Jan. 5 at Bay Port 9:00
Jan. 14 Fond du Lac 7:30
Jan. 16 WNS 5:30
Jan. 20 Cedarburg 7:30
Jan. 28 at DePere 8:00
Feb. 6 at Monroe 4:00
Feb. 12 Monroe 8:00