2019-20 Southwestern Conference Winter Preview – Hockey

With the winter athletic season beginning this week, the Southwestern Conference is excited to launch its Southwestern Conference Winter Preview. The preview will be a tradition for faithful Southwestern Conference followers and will signal the beginning of the much anticipated 2019-20 winter athletic seasons and the first step on the pathway to this year’s Southwestern Conference Champions.

Follow along this week as we preview each of the Winter sports as they begin their 2019-20 campaigns:

Monday Nov 18 – Bowling & Gymnastics
Tuesday Nov 19 – Swimming/Diving & Hockey
Wednesday Nov 20 – Wrestling
Thursday Nov 21 – Boys Basketball
Friday Nov 22 – Girls Basketball

Amherst Steele

Head Coach: Steve Morris

Years at school: 14

Last Year’s Overall Record: 32-3

Number of Returning Starters: 8

Athletes to Watch: Brady Grove (Jr), Jacob Kramer (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: After graduating three seniors who logged significant ice time last season, the Comets are looking to their younger players to step forward and continue to play strong.


Head Coach: Kyle Botos

Years at school: 4

Last Year’s Overall Record: 5-20-3

Number of Returning Starters: 18

Athletes to Watch: Ian Dargai (Sr), Cole Emerine (Jr), Michael Perusek (S0), Chris Reitmann (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: The 2019-20 season will be an improvement from last year for the Eagles. Avon will be a tough team to play this upcoming season as they have a good amount of games and a challenging schedule which will help them come together for the end of the year push.

Avon Lake

Head Coach: Steve Burns

Years at school: 2

Last Year’s Overall Record: 16-13-3

Number of Returning Starters: 15

Athletes to Watch: Dillon Aslaksen (Sr), Luke Farthing (Jr), Tommy Kacmarcik (Sr), Nick Ospelt (Sr), Justin Share (Sr), Isaac Young (Jr).

2019 Season Outlook: The Shoremen will come into the season with a lot more experience with 15 juniors and seniors on this years roster. Coach Burns expects to have improved results but will challenge his team with tougher competition on the schedule for 2019-20.


Does not field a hockey team for 2019-20 winter season.


Head Coach: Mark Ferfolia

Years at school: 5

Last Year’s Overall Record: 10-21-0

Number of Returning Starters: 5

Athletes to Watch: Alex Blinky (Jr), Rob Holden (Sr), Will Holden (Sr), Austin Scherer (So), Dylan Yatson (So).

2019 Season Outlook: Lakewood returns a solid core from their 2018-19 team along with a talented group of incoming freshmen to form the 2019-20 edition of the Rangers. Led by all-league Goaltender Rob Holden and twin Brother forward Will Holden , the Rangers hope to challenge for a Blue Division Baron Cup this year.


Does not field a hockey team for 2019-20 winter season.

North Olmsted

Head Coach: Ben Palocko

Years at school: 3

Last Year’s Overall Record: 8-14-2

Number of Returning Starters: 7

Athletes to Watch: Justin Christ (Jr), Shawn Donovan (Sr), Eelis Lehtonen (Jr)

2019 Season Outlook: This year signals the change of an era after a solid core of graduating seniors move on. Captain Shawn Donovan will lead a largely new roster with a mix of younger and experienced players.

North Ridgeville

Does not field a hockey team for 2019-20 winter season.

Olmsted Falls

Head Coach: Carl Wagner

Years at school: 1

Last Year’s Overall Record: 19-12-1

Number of Returning Starters: 10

Athletes to Watch: Matt Heine (Sr), Zak Henley (Sr), Alex Kerkay (Jr), Jackson McMahan (Sr), Colin Wilson (Sr).

2019 Season Outlook: The Bulldogs return a core five seniors that should provide stability for a young group of Sophomores and Freshmen. They are young at Goaltender with Sophomre Nathan Chandler and Freshmen Tyler Pletcher sharing the duties.


Head Coach: John Duke

Years at school: 10

Last Year’s Overall Record: N/A

Number of Returning Starters: 14

Athletes to Watch: Alexa Prexta (Sr), Alex Rendziak (So), Matt Romansky (Sr), Adam Tinline (Sr)

2019 Season Outlook: The Demons look to build on the positive momentum over the past few years including a return to the Baron Cup with a team goal of a Baron Cup Championship. Coach Duke will have his team work on developing the young players new to hockey, compete with a deep bench short on hockey experience and develop a dynamic power play and penalty kill.

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2018-19 Hockey All-Southwestern Conference Honors

The Southwestern Conference announced the 2018-19 hockey individual award winners and All-Southwestern Conference teams, as selected by the conference coaches. Amherst’s Jacob Kramer was named the Most Valuable Player.  North Olmsted’s Joseph Warszawski was named First Team Goalie of the Year.  Steve Morris of Amherst was named this year’s Coach of the Year.

2018-19 Hockey All-Southwestern Conference Honors

Most Valuable Player
Jacob Kramer – Amherst

Coach of the Year
Steve Morris – Amherst

First Team All-Southwestern Conference
Jacob Fekete, Michael Giannuzzi, Jacob Kramer, Tyler Waldecki

Nicholas Verlotti

North Olmsted
Riley Vertosnik, Travis Vitaz, Joseph Warszawski (Goalie)

Olmsted Falls
Dominic Conte

Second Team All-Southwestern Conference
Ian Dargai, Chris Reitmann

Avon Lake
Dillon Aslaksen (Goalie)

Will Holden

Bryan Weaver

North Olmsted
Shawn Donovan, Jake Mlady

Olmsted Falls
Jacob Kerkay

Max Novak

Honorable Mention All-Southwestern Conference
Brady Grove, Nathan Harmych

Michael Perusek, Kyli Warnkin

Avon Lake
Thomas Kacmarcik, Nick Ospelt

Alex Blinky, Rob Holden

Braden Rapp, Evan Vince

North Olmsted
Justin Christ, Cameron Sukenik

Olmsted Falls
Max Kirth Gruszczynski, Noah Voelker

Austin Loosli, Matthew Romansky

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2019 Southwestern Conference Hockey Tournament Bracket Announced

The Southwestern Conference announced the 2019 SWC Hockey Tournament bracket on Tuesday, with Amherst earning the No. 1 seed.

The tournament will be held at the North Olmsted Recreation Center with, quarterfinals of the tournament beginning on January 18th and 19th.  Semifinals and championship match are scheduled for January 20th and 21st.

Tickets for the tournament are $6 for Adults and $4 for Students and Senior Citizens.  No passes or staff IDs will be accepted for the SWC Hockey Tournament.

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