The Mora-Milaca Mustangs boys hockey team believes that playing in Minnesota, “The State of Hockey,” is very special. They work to develop skills that build success, both on and off the ice.
Last year the Mustangs finished the regular season with a 16-10 record, second place in the Two Rivers Conference and sixth in Section 5A. They defeated Moose Lake Area in the first round of playoffs, but then fell to North Branch.
Head coach Kevin Nolt had this to say about the 2019-20 season:
Q: What’s different for this season’s team, compared to last season?
A: Everything is different for this year’s team compared to last season’s squad. That’s what makes coaching enjoyable. As a staff we get to watch players mature, develop and take different roles every year. Each year the team is different and needs to be coached differently.
Q: What challenges do you expect the team to face this year?
A: As a staff we believe that, when we start a season, we’re a group of individuals which needs to develop into a team aligned with common goals. The challenge is to get everyone involved in the program to come together and develop the athletes to become a team and, more importantly, great people.
Q: How does the coaching staff prepare for a new season?
A: Each year the team is different. I don’t think any coach can prepare the same exact way that they did the year before. Being able to coach a varsity hockey team in The State of Hockey makes the preparation that much more enjoyable.
Q: What makes a player a good team captain?
A: Many factors make a good team captain. For us, we want players that treat people the right way. Our coaching staff and team know that if our best players aren’t our best teammates, we truly aren’t going to reach our potential.
Q: How do you think participation in athletics affects students beyond the hockey rink?
A: Students who are also athletes or in extracurricular activities gain numerous benefits. I personally believe that some of the main benefits are time management, accountability and becoming goal-oriented. These attributes are developed in school, but are able to grow immensely with these after-school activities.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to mention about the upcoming season?
A: We’re excited for all the winter sport activities going on this season. It’s an exciting time for the students who participate in these activities, especially after the work many of the students have put in throughout their careers.
The Mustangs opened the season on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Cambridge-Isanti. Their first home game is Saturday, Nov. 30, when they host Gentry Academy.