It’s almost that time of the year; time to brew the stew


As fall sports are coming to a close, East Grand Rapids’ winter sports teams are anticipating their upcoming seasons. The boys’ hockey team is coming off of a season in which they won EGR’s tenth regional championship title. The team is gearing up for yet another successful year.

Last year, the boys fell short against Midland Dow in the state quarterfinals. This is the farthest the boys have gotten since their 2019 season in which they made it to the state semifinals.  This year, they are ready to go even further into the season.

“I hope that we will make it farther than we did last year, so the state tournament, and hopefully make it to Plymouth,” Rieden McIntosh ‘24 said.

With last year’s coaching addition of Grant Newton, he brought along the creation of the “Stew”. Grant began to make highlight videos of the team, which created more excitement and support from the students at the high school. It suddenly became a lot of students’ favorite winter sport to watch.

Not only is the stew an exciting environment for the people watching, but also creates a spirited environment for the players.

“My favorite part about being on the team is playing in front of the stew, my friends, and my family,” Owen Stropkai ‘25 said.

New freshman and retired club hockey players are also looking forward to the exciting crowd at their games and playing in front of their peers.

“I am looking forward to all of the Friday night games and playing in front of a student section,” Brady Ross ‘25 said.

With the loss of four seniors, there’s still a lot of talent returning to the team. The team dynamic is something very special to the players to have chemistry on the ice that will make them succeed as a team. They will continue to grow and strengthen their relationship this year, helping them become good teammates on the ice and even better friends off the ice.

“Off the ice, we are like family but while practicing on the ice we compete and push each other,” Stropkai said.

After season-ending injuries last year, some of our most crucial players are ready to make a comeback on the ice. JT LaMange ‘24 suffered from an ACL tear on his right leg, which cut his season short. However, with a lot of time and therapy to recover, he will be more than prepared to hit the ice.

“This is my first time coming back to a sport after my injury and I’m excited to get active and be able to play for my school’s team this year,” LaMange said.

Tradition is something the hockey team values in their program. Throughout the years, the team has gained new traditions and carried on old ones. The veterans and upperclassmen on the team are looking forward to carrying on these traditions.

“We have morning practice at 5:30 every Tuesday, team dinners before games, and listen to ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ after every win,” McIntosh said.

With the start of a new season, the boys are gaining anticipation to play new teams and old rivals. This year, the hockey team will face new challenges playing teams they haven’t played before.

“We’re playing a lot more Detroit teams compared to last year so we will have new competition throughout our season,” McIntosh says.

Not only are the boys gearing up to play some new teams, but they are also ready to play some old rivals. The boys will begin the season with some tough competition, starting their first three games with Byron Center, Flint Powers, and Forest Hills United.

“Our second game of the season- flint powers will be a big challenge. Also playing Forest Hills will be fun because it’s a rivalry game,” Stropkai said.

Tryouts are starting this week and the boys are ready to be back on the ice. The boys will face Byron Center on November 18th and are looking forward to an unmatched season.

“I used to play with a lot of players on the Byron Center team and I’m excited to beat them this year after losing to them last year,” Finley Wielenga ‘24 said.