Preview: Hockey


The Westside Hockey Team has had a great start to their season with six wins, two ties, and one loss so far. This year there is a new head coach, Tom Shaffer, and an almost entirely new coaching staff than the last five years.

“We talked to the team before the season and the goals were they wanted to contend for a state championship this year,” said Shaffer. “This is my first year coaching this team so the players have to get used to a new coach and the new coaching staff has to get used to all the new players and they have to learn our way of how we want them to play the game and we have to understand their strengths and weaknesses so really the familiarity with each other is going to be one of the biggest challenges this year.”

Senior and Team Captain Michael Hickey said that he knows that the team goal to win state is achievable, but says that they have to develop more as a team as the season continues.

“Our main challenge is our offense, we have a very effective defense but have struggled to score goals so far,” said Hickey. “We have a lot of returning players from last years team, we’re expecting to perform better and than last year.”

This is Shaffer’s first time coaching a high school team, though he has coached several travel teams in the area.

“My son’s now in high school so, there was an opening for the Westside coaching job and I threw my name in the hat for that this year with my son going to Westside,” Shaffer said. “So my first time coaching high school level but I’ve coached several travel teams for several years.”

For the Westside Hockey Team there are many things to look forward to this season. Shaffer says that the team looks forward to when their peers come to the games to cheer them on. During the game against Prep there was a group of Westside students there to support the team.

“I‘m looking forward to seeing how our younger players develop as the season continues, after only a few games the underclassmen have gotten noticeably better, I want to see how far they can take it.” Says Hickey. “Me and the other coaches are looking forward to getting to know the players a little bit more and being positive role models, and teaching them about the game of hockey,” said Shaffer.

The Westside Hockey Team will play thirty games in a regular season, and the tournament starts in mid-March. To find the full game schedule go to Omaha hockey club, teams, Westside, and click on game schedule. There you can find who they are going against, where, and what time.