They became the first team in the history of the Catholic High School Hockey League to advance from the C division to the A division in just two years, but when St. Francis Prep players are asked to reveal the secret to their success, their answer was simple.
After winning the C division title last year, the Terriers captured the B division crown this year in a thrilling three-game series against St. Peters. The reason, they say, is they work harder than any team in the league at practice.
And the person responsible is the TimesLedger CHSHL Queens Coach of the Year, Billy Turner.
Hes like one of our fathers, said senior Steve Cameron. All the coaches are like our fathers. We have a lot to be thankful for. We owe this championship to them.
With ice time as rare as snow in August, Turner made sure the Terriers got the most out of every practice session. He worked on skating drills, he worked on hitting drills and he worked on shooting drills with many players who were making the transition from roller to ice hockey.
For most kids, this is their first ice hockey team and he is their first ice hockey coach, said senior captain Dan McCloskey. Its a lot easier for him to mold them.
St. Francis Prep is far from Turners first ice hockey coaching experience. He coached former Islander Tommy Fitzgerald at Austin Prep in Massachusetts and won a CHSHL title with Chaminade in 1993.
He has an overall record of 90-34-10 in nine years, including three CHSHL titles and back-to-back championships in just four years at St. Francis Prep.
We skated 100 times this year, including 68 practice sessions, Turner said. Youre only going to get better. The boys have worked hard.
But Turner is not all about hockey, said Cameron, who recalls one of Turners more famous quotes.
He said, How many people in this room took a hockey exam to get into this school? And no one raised their hands, Cameron said. Then he said, how many people took the Co-op to get into this school? and everyone raised their hands. Education is No. 1 for him.
©2002 Community News Group
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