UNITY — The West Central U18AA Wheat Kings are looking to gain some momentum in the SMU18AA hockey league, but they have some work to do.
Losing six veterans last year in addition to four third-year players who advanced to triple A teams for this season put an initial dent in the roster. A few players also chose to stay in their home communities to play for the season, which leaves six returning players from last year’s squad that went all the way to provincial final. Eleven rookies round out the team’s roster.
Their season so far has included 10 games played as of Nov. 15 resulting in three wins, six losses and one overtime loss.
The King’s roster includes goaltender Johnny Kampen from Rosetown, along with another Rosetown product in Austin Burton who plays forward. There are five players from Kindersley: Aiden Chachula, Chase Douglas, Jace Reichert, Jacob Wagner, Calvin Feader and Deegan German. Macklin is represented by players Kaegan Lowe, Ty Partington and Chase Weinkauf. Brett Bahm and goaltender, Tyson Borschneck both hail from Kerrobert. The line-up of forwards is rounded off with Unity players Nash Sperle, Dawson Rusk and Jared Abrams and Scott’s Kayden Cey.
The leadership team for the Wheat Kings is Head Coach Pat Sperle backed up assistant coaches Ryan Partington and Jeremy German. Melissa Cey serves as the team’s manager and John “Huntzie” Klaehn once again serves as team trainer.
When asked what is working this season, Sperle says, “Our team atmosphere is good this year. We are seeing that camaraderie show through on the ice. “
Can the momentum from last year’s success story brew into this season? Sperle responds, “We are utilizing our vets who had that intense playoff experience and getting them to help the rookies maintain that same momentum. Us as coaches continue to lay the building blocks of last year’s strategies and helping this new team grow.”
The biggest challenge the WCWK U18AA team has faced this year is keeping the team healthy as there have been a few injuries already in the season. This includes Captain, Calvin Feader, who is currently out with a broken foot.
Sperle and the coaching team say the highlight already this season has been seeing the players grind every game showcasing plenty of heart and drive on the team.
The SAAHL includes 12 teams in the Centre Four division and 13 teams in the south, for the U18 teams.
WCWK U18AA rounds out November with five games in November, four of those considered home games playing between Kerrobert and Unity arenas. December includes nine games with most of them being on the road.
Kayden Cey leads the team’s stats with 10 points earned so far this season that includes six goals and four assists in 10 games played up to Nov. 15.
Fans can follow up on the Kings on the league website at Saskatchewan AA Hockey League (SAAHL) or the team’s Facebook page.