Adapted Floor Hockey: Warriors open season this weekend
For the first time in program history, the Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey team will open its season in a tournament. The Rochester Tournament will be a stern test for the Warriors, who play Robbinsdale at 6 p.m. Friday followed by Saturda...
For the first time in program history, the Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey team will open its season in a tournament.
The Rochester Tournament will be a stern test for the Warriors, who play Robbinsdale at 6 p.m. Friday followed by Saturday games against Rochester and defending state champion Dakota United. Last year Robbinsdale finished third at state and Rochester was the consolation champion.
"The kids are really excited," Warriors coach Todd Person said. "I feel like they've gotten better in practice the way they've been working. They're ready to go. It will be fun to start off against Robbinsdale."
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- Head coach: Todd Person, sixth season
- Career record: 43-22-1 (.662)
- 2015-16 record: 6-6-0, fourth in state tournament
- Captains: Cody Vleck, Jake Heikkenen, Jacob Heinlen
- Assistant coaches: Josh Fordyce, Eric Rohlfing
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Brainerd returns several players from last season's team which finished 6-6 overall and is coming off a fourth-place finish at state.
Returnees include Zachary Denny, the team's only senior, junior captains Cody Vleck, Jake Heikkenen and Jacob Heinlen, sophomore Brach Delcastillo, freshmen Tate Boelter, Blaise Edinger and Karlee Schuler and eighth-graders Matt Allord and Jacob Elias.
"From what we've seen in practice, the kids worked hard in the offseason, which is great," Person said. "We've seen improvement from Day One across the board. Maddox Cannon, Tre'Von Otey and Zoe Strangis are new seventh-graders which always helps. We have to continue to keep that depth."
Denny, who enters his fifth varsity season, will move up to defense for the time being. He has been the Warriors' goalie the past two years compiling an 86-percent save percentage last year. Cody Vleck, beginning his fifth varsity season, will move back to play in the net.
"Cody had an injury to his foot," Person said, "so he's not been able to run and move. Doctor's orders are to stay off it so he has moved back to the goalie position.
"We've had a few scrimmages against a (Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association) team and Jim Ernster also brought his (Brainerd) varsity girls (hockey) team a couple times for scrimmages. Cody has played in net for those and has done very well. He's an athletic boy."
Person said Vleck has accepted and embraced the move into the cage. Vleck registered seven goals and 13 assists last season.
"He's done a nice job in all three scrimmages we've had and he continues to work hard in practice," Person said, "but I don't know if he will be there the whole year or not. Zach used to play the walker (defense) position a few years ago when Harlee Annable was in goal. Zach has done a nice job moving back to (walker D) in practice. He's also played up a little bit as a forward in some of our scrimmages."
Heikkenen is Brainerd's leading returning scorer with 11 goals and 22 points last season. Heinlen added six goals and 14 points last year, Allord four goals and six points. Person said Cannon and Otey also may see time up front.
"(Cannon and Otey) have a done a real nice job in practice. They're a couple of athletic kids," he said. "Tre'Von is probably playing a forward position, Maddox is enjoying the walker position. Both are working real hard. I think we'll be better as those two get a feel for the game and the speed of things."
Schuler, Delcastillo and Jacob Elias return on defense. Elias recorded seven points last year, Delcastillo scored five goals and Schuler two.
"They've continued to work hard in practice for the last month or so that we've been going," Person said. "They're not necessarily only in the chair working. They're out on the floor as well which is great. They will give us some minutes (on the floor)."
Senior: Zachary Denny
Juniors: Jake Heikkenen, Jacob Heinlen, Cody Vleck
Sophomore: Brach Delcastillo
Freshmen: Tate Boelter, Blaise Edinger, Karlee Schuler
Seventh grade: Maddox Cannon, Tre'Von Otey, Zoe Strangis
Eighth grade: Matt Allord, Jacob Elias
Jan 6 at Rochester Tournament vs. Robbinsdale
Jan 7, at Rochester Tournament vs. Rochester
Jan 7, at Rochester Tournament vs Dakota United
Wed Jan 18, at Mounds View 4:30 p.m.
Mon Jan 23, Anoka-Hennepin 4:30 p.m.
Wed Jan 25, at Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka 4:30 p.m.
Mon Jan 30, at Maple Grove 4:30 p.m.
Wed Feb 1, Mounds View 4:30 p.m.
Feb 8, at Anoka-Hennepin 4:30 p.m.
Feb 13, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka 4:30 p.m.
Feb 15, Maple Grove 4:30 p.m.
Feb 20, at Mounds View 4:30 p.m.
Feb 27, Anoka-Hennepin 4:30 p.m.