Mt. Pleasant Celebrates 10 Seasons on the Ice
MT. PLEASANT – What was once a dream more than a decade ago has turned into a fruitful endeavor in Mt. Pleasant.
The 2017-18 season marks the 10th for the Mt. Pleasant hockey team, which has quickly become a staple on Wednesday and Friday nights, as students and fans pack Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena.
“It’s awesome that our school’s backing us on everything,” Mt. Pleasant senior Natalie Kea said. “They love watching us play, so we get to represent our school out there, and I think that’s awesome. Not a lot of schools get to have a high school hockey team.”
Bob Weisenberger and Tim Coscarelly helped build Oiler hockey from scratch, with Paul Visich serving as the team’s first coach. After three seasons with Visich at the helm, Alex Weisenberger assumed coaching responsibilities for two seasons before Mike Willett entered and grabbed the reins five years ago.
“They were really integral to this getting off the ground,” Willett said. “Tons of people wanted this, but nobody was willing to do all the little behind the scenes jobs until they came along, and it’s just great to have them still on board.”
Willett was an assistant coach during the team’s inaugural season and has seen the program grown in leaps and bounds.
“When I was around as an assistant, we were around 14-15 players. The last few years, we’ve had over 20,” Willett said. “It shows how much the program’s grown and how much players want to be a part of this program now.”
Mt. Pleasant went 11-15 a year ago, falling to Big Rapids in a postseason opener. The Oilers are looking to build off their 2016-17 campaign.
“They blocked so many shots during the game against us that is was really hard to get some through,” Mt. Pleasant senior Logan Smith said. “We’ve been working on just that; blocking shots, defensive zone, and make sure we can build up from our defensive end outwards.”
At 1-2-1 on the season, the Oilers are still finding their footing, but are beginning to hit their stride.
“We are starting to hit our stride, and now we’re starting to work hard within our system which is key,” Willett said. “Just continuing to build as a team is what’s going to get us to the next level.”
Mt. Pleasant hosts the Oiler Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Oilers open with Lanse Creuse on Friday.