Feist, Kids look to hit all strides
Tyler Feist has been around the Northampton varsity program in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey (LVSHL) long enough to know something isn't quite right. In fact, his coach shares the same feeling.
Ironically, Northampton has occupied it usual spot in the LVSHL Non-Pure Division as they will begin the post-holiday season in first place, three points ahead of second-place Becca/Central.
A senior in the program, Feist has his own distinctive opinion why his team hasn't hit on all strides. He has done his share as Feist is third on the team in scoring with 15 overall points (5 goals, 10 assists).
"Last season, we had a really good senior class that took charge and a leadership role," he said. "This year, it hasn't felt the same. I don't know if the commitment is totally there.
"There are player here who need to take practice more seriously and that could help."
Head coach Brian Ruff can appreciate his club being in first place, but he still remains puzzled on his club's lack of dominant play, a trademark of recent seasons.
"It has been a goof season and things have been strange for us," said Ruff on his club that began the second half with an overall 5-4-1 mark. "We have had to pull out some games that we should have been able to control.
"We could easily have seven or eight wins instead of five at this point. It's nice to be in first place, and in fact, it's a relief considering how we have played overall. We thought we had things straighten out. Now, we have to go back and find out what is really wrong so we can go back and fix it."
Feist believes his team can overcome some apathy and revert back to their old style.
"After Christmas break, I think we will be back in a good situation again," he stated. "We have the talent here and we just have to dedicate ourselves and be focused. Everyone here has a love for the game and we want to make a strong run to the playoffs. Once we get there, we can win this."
Having a love for the game has been a developing process for Feist. He began playing the game at a young age mainly due to the encouragement of his younger brother, Corey, who is a freshman in the program.
Once he committed to the program, he had to make some adjustments.
"The biggest thing for me to overcome has been the practices," Feist said, "I wasn't used to practicing three times a week. It took me a while to get used to it from playing on our driveway. Now, I feel strong and I'm ready to do what I can for the team."
Feist, who is an avid Philadelphia Flyers fan, has his sights on continuing his hockey career as well as pursuing a degree in business administration. He has reviewed program locally at Northampton Community College and also at Drexel University.
"It would be great to play hockey next year," he said. "If I went to Drexel, I could go and see the Flyers often. But I have head that (Northampton Community College) might begin a hockey program.
"Until then, it would be nice to get a championship with my team."
If he does, Feist will certainly know the rights from the wrongs.