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Royal Oak hockey reflects on success

Loss in pre-regional caps memorable season for Ravens

By: Alex Tekip | Royal Oak Review | Published March 9, 2016


BERKLEY— Royal Oak High’s hockey team probably wants to forget its final game this season, an 8-0 loss to a talented Grosse Pointe South squad in a pre-regional March 1.

What the Ravens don’t want to forget are the accomplishments of the season, the team chemistry and the memories made. 

“This was, by far, one of my favorite teams I’ve ever coached,” said coach Craig Ward, who has been coaching hockey for about 20 years. 

This season was Ward’s fourth at Royal Oak. He’s been with the four-year seniors on the Ravens’ roster as they climbed from third place in the Oakland Activities Association White Division in 2013-14 to second place in 2014-15 to league co-champions with Troy High in 2015-16. Royal Oak clinched a share of  its first-ever league title thanks to big wins over Troy High and Birmingham Unified in its final two games.

Royal Oak loses seven seniors to graduation: captains Quinn Fall, Wade Herbert and Clay Kosnik, along with Gil Ybarra, Max Gabriel, Cam Givens and Marino Costa.

Ward said he’s sad to see some of his current players leave, but is hopeful for the future of the program, noting upcoming young talent and the team’s recent success as major growth factors.

“I think it’s huge,” he said. “You build programs. You don’t build teams.”