The Troy hockey is will have a tremendously different look to them as they look to take the ice this winter.
Not only will they be in a different division of the Southwest Ohio Hockey League, they will also have a lot of new faces lining up on the ice this season, as the Trojans have a home scrimmage on Saturday at 4:15 at Hobart Arena.
“We are playing in the upper division of the SWOHL, and we moved up from last season after winning the gold division,” said Troy coach Phill Noll. “Winning that division mandated us to move up. This division can be won by any of the teams, I don’t think there is one team head and shoulders above the rest.”
“My philosophy is you don’t have to win every game, just improve every game. I told the boys all along that to be over .500 this season is a goal. Looking for a championship is something we haven’t talked about it. It’s one game at a time, and improve after every game.”
One of the biggest things the Trojans will have to improve on is how they will replace the scoring they lost to graduation last year.
“We have four seniors gone and a goalie who moved,” Noll said. “All four seniors were scorers and put up a lot of points. We will struggle to fill those shoes. We will also see who will step up and try to help as much as possible.”
Noll be looking for several kids to step up and produce if they are going to be competitive.
“We try not to have a soloist, we try to be a choir,” he said. “There are five kids and a goalie on the ice at any time, it takes all of them at one time to be successful. We want to have a lot of passing and participating from the kids on each shift.”
Returning to lead the way for the Trojans is senior Prestyn Hoefler, who will man the first-line center. “We are looking for him to do good things for us both passing and shooting,” Noll said. “He plays well defensively and offensively.”
Also back is Caleb Salazer, who is a second year defender who attends Troy Christian. Noll said he is a big kid who skates well.
Another four year senior is Caleb Mangas, while several juniors look to compete for the Trojans.
Nate Uhlenbrock is back on defense, and he continues a long line of hockey players.
“He is a good defender, and has a lot of good hockey sense and comes from family of hockey players,” Noll said. “Zach is a younger brother as a freshman and will see a lot of time, from wing to center based on what line he is on.”
Also Enrique Alejandre will be switching from defender to keeper, and has played some keeper in the past. Noll said he is improving daily.
Also Graham Harvey is a two-year letterwinner, and will be an offensive player along with junior John Wehrkamp, who is coming off of a great football season and will be a key offensive player for the Trojans.
The remainder of the Trojans squad includes Tristan Meek, Kaleb Nelson, Grant Gariety, Scott Reidle, Dominic Wenrick, Brendan Benge, Jack McGuirk, Austin Strong, Charlie Ryan, Michael Hess, and Carson Waite.
Troy will compete with the likes of Centerville, Elder, St. Xavier and Talawanda in the Red Division of their league.