Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

South Park Shows Lots of Improvement on Ice

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

South Park Shows Lots of Improvement on Ice

Article excerpt

Five games into the season, it's already apparent the difference in the South Park High School hockey team as compared to recent years.

The Eagles have a deeper bench. A significantly more cohesive on- ice chemistry. An improved attitude. A better belief in themselves and a confidence they can win.

The result of it all? A more competitive team.

That's been apparent, too.

A combined 6-58-1 over the previous three seasons, South Park is making strides. Heading into a game tonight against Kittanning, the Eagles already have two wins (against Greensburg Central Catholic, 9- 3, Oct. 31 and against Thomas Jefferson, 9-5, last Friday) and were more than competitive with what is expected to be a pretty good South Fayette team before losing, 4-3, Nov. 21.

The Eagles are off to a 2-3 start.

"I really am happy with the way we're playing," coach Clarence Hawk said. "We're dressing 19 with the two goalies -- we've got the biggest squad we've had in this, my third year.

"The kids are coming in and they're understanding the system more and more, getting it out there and putting it into practical application, putting effort back out there on the ice and coming a full three periods with it.

"I think they can hang with any team in this league. I really do."

That alone is representative of an attitude change, one that team captain Ross Guidotti recognizes.

Guidotti, in his fourth season on the team, has been through plenty of losing. He and the other seniors who have toughed it out through that time, he said, have had enough and would like nothing more than to go out as a playoff team.

"Out of the four years, this year has been by far the best," said Guidotti, son of the KDKA-TV reporter of the same name. "The team morale, just in general, is a lot more upbeat. We had a lot of problem kids in the past and just recently everyone seems more upbeat coming to the rink.

"In past years, it was like, 'Oh, we're going to go out and try to get these periods done, whatever the score is.' Now, we have more energy. We want to win. Everyone is on the same page now."

Guidotti, a forward, is a leader by example, Hawk said. …

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