OFA Skaters Rely On Depth Heading Into New Season
BY DAVE SHEA
In a normal season, the OFA Hockey team would have been forced to postpone Wednesday's season opening home game with Norwood-Norfolk at 4 p.m. at the Richard Lockwood Community Arena because 13 players are in quarantine after a positive COVID-19 exposure.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unimaginable, abnormal circumstances for all sports and the Skating Devils will be able to play their way through the quarantine with outstanding depth. Depth in a 28-player roster which features three seniors, nine juniors and 16 underclassmen in six sophomores, four freshman and sixth eighth graders who will draw from outstanding youth hockey experience to contribute at the the varsity level.
"We have a lot of talented hockey players on this team and our major goal is to give our seniors positive closure for their OFA careers and to create a stepping stone for our players who will be returning next season when hopefully things will be back to normal," said OFA Coach Jon Frederick who will once again be assisted by Associate Coach Matt Morley and Volunteer Goaltender Coach Jim Howard .
"Our younger players have enjoyed great success and we are looking at a very good three to four year run. The guys have overcame a lot to get back to rink and get back into physical competition which they really need. First of all this season we are all just happy to be playing. We play Norwood-Norfolk on Wednesday and Saturday (6:30 p.m. at N-N), play St. Lawrence Central next week and then play Potsdam. And then go from there."
A projected run will extend a very successful period of OFA Hockey where the Devils have won the Section 10 II title in two of the last three years."
The Devils look to replace three All-NAC selections in MVP and First Team All-State Goaltender Kelson Hooper who is now excelling with the AAA 18 Clifton-Park Dynamo in the Premier Hockey League, defenseman Stephen Morley who earned an NCAA Division II Lacrosse Scholarship at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Penn. and Second Team Defenseman Nolan O'Donnell who led last year's run to the Section 10 Division II Championship.
Another graduated senior, Harrison Wert, received the team's NAC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
Four candidates are looking to succeed Hooper in goal: junior Drew Piercey, senior Landon Jackson, junior Ian Sovie and eighth grader Ty Jacobs. Junior Drew Costello will lead the defensive corps and the team's only returning seniors Karson LaRose and Keighan Sias, junior Holden Woods and sophomore Landin McDonald are the top returning scorers.
"We are keeping our Blue Line of Karson LaRose, Keighan Sias and Holden Woods together. They bring a lot of energy and Karson has the speed to create a lot of things. Keighan and Karson are tremendous students. Keighan is planning to attend RIT and Karson is considering some academic scholarship offers," said Coach Frederick.
"Landin McDonald had an outstanding freshman season and will be a key scorer and defenseman Drew Costello is one of the best players in the section. Our goaltending situation is open heading into the season but there is potential and there has been a lot of competition for positions in practice."
OFA HOCKEY 2021
Derek Barr (Jr D), Peyton Brouse (Fr), Connor Brown (F D), Gabriel Clark (So D), Tegan Frederick (8th F), Cooper Garvey (Jr F), Drew Costello (Jr D), Camden Griffith (8th F), Theodore Hewko (9th D), Dylan Irvine (So F), London Jackson (Sr G), Chase Jacobs (Jr F), Ty Jacobs (8th G), Karson LaRose (Sr, F), Trent Lovely (Jr F), Landin McDonald (So F), Gunnar McLellan (So D), Jack Mills (So F), Laughlin O'Donnell (8th, D), Drew Piercey (Jr G), Nicholi Ramsdell (8th D), Lorenzo Rand (8th F), Keighan Sias (Sr, F), Ian Sovie (Jr G), Kaleb Spears (Jr F-D), Griffin Wert (So D), Holden Woods (Jr, F), Nathan Woods (Fr, F).