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Season Preview: Stevenson Patriots

By Angie O'Brien - @angieobrien2017, 09/03/19, 8:15PM CDT


Here's a look at Stevenson's upcoming season from head coach Tom Wood

Last year's record: 27-20

How many kids did you graduate?

We graduated 13 seniors last year.  The year before we had 14.  We had our best incoming class in several years.  I think how quick we can get them familiar with each other and the systems will determine our success this season.


Who are your key returning players? 

Josh Wright Sr., Liam Jones Jr., Brett Stokes Sr., Emmit Baker Sr. Jeremy Riback, and Ben Newmark.


Who are some new up and coming players you are counting on? 

Andrew Slivka played with the U16 Falcons last year and Andrew Chambers was one of the leaders on our JV team that was 26 seconds away from beating the eventual State Champions.


What will the style of the team be? What identity will the team have?  

The strength of this team will be the defense and goaltending.  We return 3 defenseman and both goalies.  Liam Jones Jr. and Brett Stokes Sr. are two of the best defenseman in the State.  Emmit Baker is in his 3rd year on Varsity will be solid as well.  Jeremy Riback was our goalie when we won the JV State Championship two years ago.  Him and Newmark are both solid in net.   I think Forwards to watch will be Chambers, Slivka, and Wright  We have a very intelligent group of kids. We will play a smart, disciplined, and defensive system. 


What's a storyline or a trend to watch this season? 

I think the development of our Freshman will be a big part of our season.  We have 3 on our team this season and we expect them to play heavy minutes.  Davis Jegers played Team Illinois last year, Dylan Jette was a member of the U14 Central States Falcons, and Will Harlow was a member of the U14 Central States Ice Dogs team.  They are all very skilled and smart players.  This is as good a Freshman class as we have ever had.  I also think how quickly our JV players transition to Varsity will play a big role..  We going to rely on guys like Raffi Biedron, Giorgi Gagua, Max Kulick, and Andrew Chambers to carry a heavy load coming up from JV. 


Who in the SHL or around the city is a team or player to watch? 

I think the traditional top teams of New Trier Green, Loyola, GBN, and Providence will be strong.  Outside of them I think Barrington, GBS, and St. Viator all looked good over the Spring.  Top forwards Jones and Parisi - Barrington, Botvinnik and Papalas GBS, Ware - NTG, Davis - Providence, Ruffolo - Glenbard, Top defenseman Dolby - NTG, Izenstark - GBN, Liam Jones - Stevenson, Brett Stokes -Stevenson.  Goalies Wall GBS, Mazurek Barrington, and Riback Stevenson