RANDOLPH, NJ- “I have high standards for my team because I want them to be successful,” said Coach Gina Adickes, her hands moving emphatically as she spoke. Adickes, otherwise known to all the kids as "Coach A", is at the helm of the newly formed RHS girls’ ice hockey team.
“I tell players how it is,” said Adickes. “And I expect commitment, effort, and enjoyment from being part of the team.”
This is the first season ever for the RHS girls’ ice hockey team. It didn’t take much prodding for Coach A to get involved; she offered to take on the ice hockey coaching position right away. “I volunteered to take an ice hockey position because I wanted to help in any way I could,” she explained.
The girls’ ice hockey team is led by three sophomore students who were experienced ice hockey players: Carly Snarski, Mackenzie Vorel, and Morgan Yurchuk, who are the team’s co-captains. They found and recruited interested players while their parents sought out ice time for practices and games. Coach A also reached out to other school districts to help schedule games for the team.
The team played one scrimmage in December and two games in January. On January 6, they lost the first game against Summit 3-1 They won the second game against Westfield on January 16, 3-1. The team is scheduled to play four more games through February, two of which are home games at Aspen Ice, scheduled for February 14 and February 21.
Aside from the three co-captains, the other seventeen girls on the team are less experienced and have been spending their mornings with three assistant coaches to learn how to play hockey. The girls’ main goal is to learn how to skate harder and overcome their fear of falling.
“I think the season’s goal is to be competitive in every game and to walk away with a winning season,” Adickes said. She admitted that coaching girls’ ice hockey is tricky for her because, while she coaches field hockey and lacrosse for girls, she has never coached ice hockey before. “I have researched a lot of drills for ice hockey to be ready for the season,” she said.
“Coach A is strong, and is someone we can all look up to,” said co-captain Morgan Yurchuk, who along with Snarski started campaigning to create the team back when the pair were 8th graders. “She is someone the whole team can learn from and is very eccentric and easy to get along with. She is someone we are comfortable around, but still respect as a coach and person.”
“She is a great coach, and coaches me in field hockey and ice hockey,” added Marissa Biancone, who plays left wing for the team. “She is understanding, relatable, and also a good friend and coach.”
For Coach A, the emotional benefit that comes from playing ice hockey is a top priority for her team. “When I played sports, practicing and game time were my opportunities to be competitive with my friends. All the stress or worries were left behind and I want my team to walk on the field ( or ice ) and enjoy that same feeling,” she said.
The girls’ ice hockey team just posted their first shutout win on Feb. 2, defeating Westfield 4-0. Snarski and Vorell scored two goals each, while Yurchuk posted the shutout in goal.