The Paw Print’s Kevin Bluffestone sat down with varsity hockey assistant coach Jacob Macula to discuss the Wildcats’ upcoming season.
Kevin: How have you prepared the players for the first game this season?
Macula: We started conditioning, [and] we started installing our new system during the summer, which is beneficial to us. Over the summer we did team bonding, which hopefully helped out a little bit, and we are hoping for a close team this year instead of last year where it seemed cliquey. We are trying to get them closely knit, and I’m hoping that translates onto the ice.
Kevin: How does the team plan on bouncing back from the winless season last year?
Macula: I think last year was just one of those years where nothing goes right. We got shut down four times, and it seemed like a whole lot of toxicity. I think this year with us being what I consider a closer team, us having established our systems and chemistry early on, that will translate onto the ice and hopefully, the more we win, the better things get, and we just keep it rolling from there.
Kevin: With the first game today, expectations are high for the team. How are you balancing the team out and making sure everything goes according to plan?
Macula: It’s always a process. Expectations are always high, always expecting to win every game no matter the situation. We could be playing Gilmour or we could be playing Brush and I will always expect a win. I think especially with installing a new system this year, the first few games we will see how it goes. I am confident that in the players we have that it will work, but once we get it established, I am very confident that we will be a very good team this year.
Kevin: How have the new players adjusted to the game?
Macula: I think the brand new players are excellent at taking instruction, so I would say since they started in the summer, they have come a long way, to the point where I am hoping they can play some decent minutes for us, because they may not have the hockey knowledge when it comes to playing, they have definitely dived in the deep end and they are definitely swimming right now. I’m hoping in the second half of the year they will be able to play for us and we will be a better team for it.
Kevin: What are your personal expectations for the season?
Macula: I have three that are most important to me: I want to win a game first (because we didn’t win last year), win the division, and then win the Baron Cup. Those are always the big three goals. We take games one game at a time though, and you reevaluate after every game, and you take the season for what it is, and you try to install the best team atmosphere you can. So this year, it’s the same as every year: win a game, win the division, win the Baron Cup. That’s the expectation.
For more information about the team and updates throughout the season, follow the student-run Instagram page @mayfield_hockey.