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Madison Heights

January 25, 2013

Bishop Foley Unified hockey hopes to build winning tradition

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Bishop Foley forward Kaylan Taylor (11) tries to avoid Gabriel Richard forward Dustin Dahm (88) during the game at Troy Sports Center Jan. 19.

When Bishop Foley Unified Hockey coach Dave Williamson looks at the banners hanging in the school gymnasium, he notices there is something missing.

According to Williamson, the hockey program will be 10 years old next year and it has yet to capture a Catholic League championship.

Williamson is hoping to change that.

“Last year, we came very close to taking a Catholic League title in our division,” he said. “Right now, that’s the goal. We want to get a banner hanging in the gym over there. We see all the success all the other programs have.”

While Foley wasn’t able to capture a Catholic League title last year, Williamson said the team’s 17-7-1 record was the best in program history.

After losing seven seniors and some depth on its roster, Foley is off to a tougher start this year with a 3-12 record at press time.

But Williamson is hopeful that there are more good days ahead. 

He believes lessons learned from last year’s team can help the program moving forward.

“Last year, the seniors we had worked extremely hard. The younger guys saw that,” he said. “The work ethic was passed on. I see that with our three seniors. They come to practice, they’re organized, (and) they pay attention to detail. That’s only going to rub off on the juniors, sophomores, and one freshman (Dominic Finazzo) we have this year.

“Some of the boys play baseball on the varsity team, and they’ve won two (consecutive) state championships. There’s that work ethic they brought with them. They know what it takes to win a state championship. I can’t say enough about Buster’s  (Sunde) program. It rubbed off on the hockey program last year. And even though the record doesn’t show it, we still have that same work ethic.”

Kaylan Taylor, Dominic Doxen and Alex Day are the team’s senior representatives, and Williamson has been pleased with the leadership they have displayed.

“They’ve gone beyond my expectations this year,” he said. “Dominic Doxen was a sophomore when I took over the team. He was very quiet. This year, we made him the assistant captain, and (he’s) vey vocal. He and the other two players do what a coach wants them to do — they encourage. I’ve never heard any of the three criticize somebody’s play. It’s always been encouragement, encouragement, and I really see it this year.”

Foley, which is united with Sterling Heights Parkway Christian — four of the 14 players on the team are from Parkway — plays at the Division 2 level of the Catholic League, and Williamson understands that his goal of competing for a league title will not be easy.

“It’s competitive every year,” he said. “Right now, Shrine looks like the team to beat. They have the numbers.  I don’t want to say it’s their turn, but everything goes cyclical with enrollment. Next year, I know there’s five freshmen coming in. This year, we had one freshman. Ideally, as a hockey coach, you would love to get five freshmen every year. That way, your program is always staying consistent. It is very competitive.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.