SPORTS: Plainfield Predators fire up new season

The+Plainfield+Predators+go+against+Oswego+on+Sunday%2C+Oct.+30th.

Mia Graske

The Plainfield Predators go against Oswego on Sunday, Oct. 30th.

The hockey rink is cold, but the Plainfield Predators are fiery in games. Head Varsity Coach of the Plainfield Predators hockey team, Jeff Schmidt said, “Live hockey is probably the best sport to watch. The players always put on a show and make the games exciting.”

Schmidt has coached hockey for the last 10 years and played since he was 10. 

“I’ve always enjoyed teaching others and it just gives me a lot of satisfaction to see others growing and developing,” Schmidt said.

Similar to the coaches, players on the Plainfield Predators contribute to the energy of the team. 

Senior, captain, and center for the Plainfield Predators Varsity team, Alex Barlog said, “From the second I enter the rink to the second I leave the locker room to go home, I’m locked in. I close out the outside distractions and play my game.”

This vigor generates intensity in games that makes the competition enjoyable for viewers.

Intensity is rampant for goalies especially, as they are the last line of defense.

“A lot of whether we have success as a team depends on whether or not I can stop the puck from getting behind me, so my strive to get better is that I want my team to win,” Senior and Varsity Goalie, Geremia Balice, said.

Amidst the tension and excitement, it is also important for the team to remain optimistic.

Barlog said, “I try to stay as positive and constructive as possible for the team, and lead by example. As the captain it’s my job to keep the team’s intensity at the level it needs to be at.”

The team is anticipating multiple games in the upcoming season to showcase their skill and enthusiasm. 

Barlog said, “Every game is important to me, but if I had to choose one it would be the next time we play against Naperville North. We beat them 7-2 earlier this season, and I’m looking forward to sweeping them.”

Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley High School are also among the anticipated games.

Schmidt said, “It’s always a challenge to play them, but it’s fun. We have to make in-game adjustments as we notice what they’re doing or not doing so well to capitalize.”

As the Predators look forward to their approaching matches, the community is present on the ice and off the ice.

“What makes the Predators special to me is the comradery. Every time I’ve played with the Predators each season it’s always been a very chill team. There’s never any cliques of people, it feels like one big group,” Balice said.

From a coaches perspective, the team only looks for improvement, and they do not unfairly critique.

“They don’t quit, they don’t ever give up, and they support each other. They get along really well. They’re not criticizing each other and getting on each other’s cases,” Schmidt said. 

Come out to see the Plainfield Predators Varsity Red at their next home game against Dupage on Jan. 24th at 9pm.