Hockey team builds stronger bonds


Skylar Scobbo, Asst. Features Editor

As the season continues, the hockey team is beginning to form closer bonds with one another. Although many upperclassmen played on the same team for at least a year, the freshmen are new. Not only are these players new but so is the head coach. Coach Noah Yerdon was an assistant coach last year, however this is his first year as head coach. Coach Yerdon is a Central Valley graduate and played for the Central Valley Hockey team. He went even further and played for the Steele County Blades in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) as well as the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). 

“I would say my favorite part about coaching Central Valley would be that I am able to give back to the program that helped me become the player and person I am today, and knowing myself and the coaching staff are able to have a positive impact on the kids and help them learn, grow and develop into better athletes and human beings,” Coach Yerdon said.

Shaping the team and getting them ready to play can be a struggle without the needed chemistry. The season is now more than halfway through. Having many practices throughout the year has helped the team find what works best for them. 

On Dec. 15, the team played Carrick at home, and the team fell with a score of 8-1. On Dec. 22, the boys traveled to Ringgold, but unfortunately lost by a score of 11-5 after a tough fight. Junior Aiden Pournaras scored 2 of the team’s 5 goals. Pournaras is currently leading the team in points. So far he has accumulated 9 goals and 5 assists. 

The team took a week’s break over the holidays. However, they were back in no time on Jan. 2nd. They played Neshannock for the third time this season, losing by a score of 9-2. At the game, junior Chase Grable got an assist and scored one of the team’s two goals. 

On Jan. 12, the team hosted their senior night in recognition of their five seniors. They played Trinity in a very intense game. Neither team had won a game yet, and the stakes were very high. Both teams played an incredible game, never losing sight of the end goal. Luckily Central Valley was able to pull through a win with a score of 5-3. Pournaras scored one of the team’s five goals, and also got an assist. 

Pournaras was also selected to play in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) All-Star Game. At least one player gets picked from each team. The game was held on Jan. 29, at RMU Island Sports Center. 

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to play in the All-Star game because I get to represent my team and play with the best players in the league,” Pournaras said. 

Although the season has not ended yet, the coaches have begun to look ahead to next season. Having only five seniors, the team will still have a good majority of their players returning next season. With the coaches now having a better understanding of the team’s strengths and weaknesses, they can spend more time focusing on the things that need improving. 

“Coming into this year we knew we were going to have a young team. But coming into next year we’ll have a good returning core that now has a good amount of experience together…and can help the younger players coming up…and ultimately lead us back to the playoffs,” Coach Yerdon said. 

Looking forward , the boys will play their last home game of the season against Wilmington on Feb. 9th. Their last game will be away against Bishop Canevin on Feb. 16. Be sure to come out and support the boys for their last two games of the season.