Share This Page

Sewickley Academy hockey ready to get started under new coach

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

After coming back from a one-year hiatus with a first-year head coach, the Sewickley Academy hockey team is experiencing another shake up.

The Panthers will be under the direction of new coach Tyler Henk, a former player at Wheeling Jesuit. He is no stranger from the rinks of Western Pennsylvania as he played high school hockey at Bethel Park.

“I saw a team that has had success,” Henk said. “It is a program with good kids and good freshmen on the way up. I thought I could help the players build character.”

Henk replaces Ryan Patrick, who was the Panthers coach for one season. He resigned from the role to become the hockey director of Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena. Patrick led Sewickley Academy into its debut in the Independent School Hockey League, where the team finished 5-5 last year.

The ISHL is also home to programs such as Linsley School, Kiski School, Shady Side Academy and Western Reserve.

Henk will be assisted by Louis Pessolano, who has been an assistant coach with Sewickley Academy for eight seasons. Having a coach that knows the players will help the transition into Henk's tenure, he said.

“He will know what to do with the players position-wise,” Henk said. “He will be able to give me input on how they fit into the system. It will be a benefit to have him.”

Henk said he has some interaction with the team so far and will begin holding practices early in November.

“I want to get together after all the fall sports are wrapped up,” Henk said. “I want to get the team into practice and teach them what I can and get into game situations. We are going to work on all aspects of the game.”

Senior forward Erik Dietrich and senior defender Connor Zierden are expected to return.

While having some experience back could lead to more success on the ice, Henk wants to see the players grow to enjoy the game as much as he did in high school.

“My goal is for the players to learn and love the game,” Henk said. “I want them to play the game the best they can. I want them to be able to look back at high school and realize how much fun they had playing hockey.”

The Panthers get their season under way Nov. 22 at the Shady Side Academy Tournament.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.