Anderson confident Flyers can excel, all in due time

By: Mike Moore | Farmington Press | Published December 11, 2013

 Matt Goldin is one of nine seniors on the Flyers’ roster. The team also has nine players new to the varsity squad.

Matt Goldin is one of nine seniors on the Flyers’ roster. The team also has nine players new to the varsity squad.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

FARMINGTON HILLS — Time and patience gives way to maturity and success.

There’s no guarantee anything will play out that way this winter, but Ken Anderson is banking on it when it comes to Farmington Hills Unified hockey team.

A young squad that was 1-3 at press time may have an abundance of youth, but as the Flyers coach spoke about last week, there’s also an abundance of potential.

“We’re off to a slow start, but I don’t think anyone is entirely surprised by it,” Anderson said. “We’ve got a good mix of kids, of veterans and rookies, so we knew it would take some time.”

The Flyers have nine seniors on the roster, but they are also working with nine players fresh to the varsity squad.

“We’re still putting lines together and getting guys familiar with one another,” Anderson said prior to a Dec. 5 practice, noting his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to a solid Berkley High team the night before. “Slow starts aren’t really a concern for us. The key is to improve and find ways to be playing our best hockey in late January and early February.”

“I think we’re a team that is still learning to capitalize on opportunities,” senior center Kyle Witherspoon said. “It’s also the game conditioning that we haven’t gotten yet. The speed of the game is something a lot of the younger guys are still adjusting to.”

The Flyers were 15-7-2 during the regular season a year ago, then met an end in a 7-0 loss to Brother Rice in the playoff opener.

Being more prepared for a playoff run is one of the main objectives for this year’s squad, which is why a slower start is hardly cause for concern.

“You have to stay upbeat. You have to stay positive, because if you don’t, especially the older guys, it could bring the whole team down,” Witherspoon said. “We feel, with time, we’re going to be a team to contend with.”

Anderson said he’s already seen the confidence from his guys start to grow.

Little things, like the solid game against Berkley, can go a long way for a team still discovering itself, he explained.

“Hockey IQ: that’s the main thing — learning how to play the game on a daily basis,” Anderson added. “That’s where everything starts. These guys are working at it, and it’s a group that wants to learn. As a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”