Avonworth Hockey is coming off of one of the best seasons in recent years. Last season, both middle school and JV won their championships. Now, two games into the season, JV looks like a force to be reckoned with.

JV hockey is now 2-0 after two very big wins. On September 20, the boys came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat a tough Neshannock team 5-3. They would follow that win up on September 27, beating North Catholic 8-1. The team’s next JV game will be played on October 4, at Neshannock, marking their first road game of the season. Neshannock will pose a threat for the undefeated ‘Lopes. Freshman Aiden O’Dell spoke about the way Nashannock plays, saying, “They’re a little bit of a physical team too.” Freshman Johnny Smallwood even suffered a broken wrist after taking a hard hit in the 2nd period of the Neshannock game.

After a rather disappointing start to the last season and finishing at 5-7-2, the team quickly turned it all around when entering playoffs, winning the league championship 4-3 against Montour. When asked about last season’s success, Andrea Patton, the second-year athletic director, commented, “I think their ‘winningness’ has increased interest … we’ve seen an increase in the number of kids coming out for hockey.” It’s clear that after last year’s championships, players are not seeing it as anything more than another win. Freshman Conner Ralston said that while last year’s win “gave our players a lot more confidence,” he also said “it honestly hasn’t changed a bunch.”

The Antelopes are beginning to make quite a name for themselves, as they fight to defend their championship title and battle it out in each game for the rest of the season in their tough division. The team, the fans, and the school are in for a fun season. Go, Lopes!

Reporting by Garrett Dziubek & Noah Quinn

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