From Heroes to Zero: What Happened to the Talawanda Hockey Team

From Heroes to Zero: What Happened to the Talawanda Hockey Team

By Julie Page

Oxford, OH— The hockey team has been a constant for the winter sports at Talawanda, but the 2022-2023 season has come to a close without the team. Despite the great success that has come from the previous seasons, including a top-ten state ranking and a SWOHSHL title, it seems like there will not be a hockey team in the near future. 

So, what happened to Talawanda’s winning hockey team?

The answer to this question seems to be the same across the board, there is a lack of new players that want to play for Talawanda’s team. “It’s purely a numbers problem right now with Talawanda Hockey, there are not enough players in the high school to field a team right now” Talwanda’s old head coach Zach Sens said.  This statement is shared by Talwanda’s Assistant Principal, Wesley Cole: 

“In the 2021-2022 season we had approximately 14 or 15 student athletes and a good portion of those were seniors, so I think we were looking at only having 5 or 6 total players for this year, which is of course not enough for a team.”

At the varsity HS level you need at least 14-15 players to field a team, so the lack of new players in the absence of graduating seniors causes many problems.

The possibility of not having a hockey team this season had been a concern for a couple of seasons. The lack of new players was brought to the attention of the Talawanda coach back in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.  According to Sens, “The closer we got to that time [2022-23 season], the bigger the problem seemed with the number of players in the school.  So each year we saw less and less players come in as underclassmen, this eventually led to not having a team for this season.”

Is there hope for a future Talawanda Hockey Team? Zach Sens believes it is a possibility for the future. “I’m very hopeful that it does…Based on current numbers in the district I think it’s possible the team comes back, I can’t say for certain when that could happen but I know a lot of people who are very supportive of bringing the team back.”