BHS has a variety of different winter sports teams: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Indoor Track and Field, Cheerleading, Swimming, Dancing, and Hockey. Okay, you can pick your jaws off of the floor now… seriously, BHS has a hockey team! The BBD Icecats is a team comprised of students from Bethel, Danbury, and Brookfield who play and practice at the Danbury Ice Arena.
The team is 2-7 so far with ten games left to play this season. They are coached by Rusty Granacker (head coach), Jeff Winter, Ned Costanzo, and Nick Castellano. Their captains this season are Trevor Powers (Brookfield), Nick Rhode (Danbury), Will Lawrence (Brookfield), and Austin Natale (Danbury). In 2012, the team won the SWC DII/DIII Championship, and they are hoping for a repeat this year.
Because of their limited rink time, the team practices both on and off the ice. Their practices are either before school from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. or directly after school from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. Off the ice, the team works on “agility, weightlifting, or stamina” according to Luke Newman ‘17, the only BHS athlete currently on the team.
Newman is not discouraged by this fact though. In fact, he expects that more kids from our school will join the team next year. Also, he does not believe it is a challenge to play with athletes from other towns because he has “played with the majority of them since [he] first started playing hockey.” He feels that his teammates are “a group of kids that [he] can always rely on off the ice and out of season.”
Unfortunately, the fan support for our hockey team is lacking. There are rarely BHS students cheering the team on. Newman explains, “Fans that come to our games are alumni of the team, family, and occasionally a good group of kids from the fan sections of Danbury and Brookfield.” With three combined fan sections, the Danbury Ice Arena should be packed for every home game! Having support at every game, “gives [the team] a sense of motivation and helps us work hard on the ice,” Newman states. It also helps to get the boys pumped up and ready to win.
Hockey is always exciting to watch, and being a part of the fast-paced arena environment is a riveting experience. Mallory Bruno ‘17 describes, “you will be blown away by the talent and originality that the players leave on the ice.” She attends the home games regularly because she believes, “the arena makes them some of the most interesting games to watch.” This is because the game doesn’t stop very much; substitutions are made during the flow of the game. In other words, the action rarely stops, making the game quick and energetic. Cassidy Meenan ‘17, fellow spectator, adds, “it’s impressive that they can do all of that while on ice.”
Also, after watching a few games, hockey is easy to understand. Meenan explains, “I like going to the hockey games because hockey is easy to follow. It’s nice because I actually understand a sport, which is unusual for me.”
Still can’t believe that BHS has a hockey team? Come see Newman and his teammates play their next home game on February 4 at the Danbury Ice Arena.