Freshmen Ty Waddell and Danny Talbott score a spot on varsity hockey

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Beatrice Antonenko

Freshmen Danny Talbott glides along the ice at his game against Northwest on Nov. 3. “The biggest challenge for me this game was the big crowd,” Talbott said. “I had to drown them out and just play.”

After a long haul of training, freshmen Ty Waddell and Danny Talbott made it onto the varsity ice hockey team.

Playing hockey since he was four, Talbott worked out all summer at the gym to make the varsity hockey team.

“It wasn’t hard exactly, it was more fun because I did my best in tryouts and I knew coming off the ice I put everything I had on that ice,” Talbott said. “I did mostly all legs [in the gym] as in quick sprints and fast turns.”

Talbott and Waddell continue to refine their skills by staying as late as 9 p.m. on the ice to get in extra practice with the coaches.  

“Ty and Danny are both hard-working players that genuinely care about bettering themselves,” varsity ice hockey coach Nic Zamora said. “They are both very young so the potential we see in their games is very encouraging for our future success.”

Waddell and Talbott both feel the pressure to perform since making the varsity team.

“I get really nervous before games, especially at school on a Friday—it’s all I can think about,” Talbott said. “But before I go on, I look at the crowd and see all my friends at our game, then me and Cole [Waddell, sophomore] do our handshake and run on the ice.”

They are both very young so the potential we see in their games is very encouraging for our future success.”

— Danny Talbott

Not even halfway through the season, Waddell and Talbott have already improved their playing, positioning and timing with the help of their teammates.

“I really enjoy being on varsity because it teaches me to play with the ‘big boys,’” Talbott said. “My favorite part of playing with the older kids is learning new skills every game from the upperclassmen.”

Waddell has earned two assists and one goal, with the help of his teammates.

“Watching the bigger kids play has helped me learn new techniques and strategies,” T. Waddell said. “When I made my goal, I felt accomplished.”

The upperclassmen have served as ‘bodyguards’ and mentors to T. Waddell and Talbott.

“They [the upperclassmen] always have their back,” Waddell’s brother and teammate sophomore C. Waddell said. “The seniors give them peace of mind to know they can always make plays without being worried.”

Both freshmen have high expectations and are excited about their following three years with the hockey team.

“I expect to continue to improve my skills,” Talbott said. “I hope to eventually go home with some hardware.”