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Varsity hockey team wins first place in the Illinois West Cup and heads to the state competition

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Varsity hockey team wins first place in the Illinois West Cup and heads to the state competition

Wheaton West varsity hockey faced Glenbard Black on March 15.

Wheaton West varsity hockey faced Glenbard Black on March 15.

Photo by Wheaton West

Wheaton West varsity hockey faced Glenbard Black on March 15.

Photo by Wheaton West

Photo by Wheaton West

Wheaton West varsity hockey faced Glenbard Black on March 15.

By Isabela Casimiro, Perspectives Editor

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After winning the Illinois West Cup, the varsity hockey team is heading to state Saturday at the United Center.

It is the first time that both hockey teams, varsity and JV, from Wheaton West have won first place.

Senior David Browning is the team captain for varsity and junior Nathan Rutledge plays as their goalie.

“I think that’s the first time in all of high school hockey history that something like that has happened,” Browning said.

Varsity had some downfalls mid-season but still pulled through to win the league.

“I really think that the key against Glenbard was defensively,” Rutledge said. “Only letting one goal against the best team in the state in two games is kind of crazy.”

The members of the varsity team felt pressure during the match.

“As a goalie, it’s described as one of the hardest positions in sports because it’s all mental and it also requires a lot of skill,” Rutledge said. “To be able to move at all angles and it’s a lot mental because that one little mistake, you let down your entire team.”

After winning, they earned a trophy and the title of champions. Varsity went on to celebrate at Browning’s house.

Even so, their reactions to winning were mixed emotions as the team never thought they would make it this far.

“It was kind of wild. I can’t really describe it,” Rutledge said.

The team built up a strong bond throughout the season.

“I spent the most of my time with (the team) and if it’s not with them then it’s like a weird day because I see them almost every day,” Browning said.

Rutledge agreed with Browning.

“The relationship on the team is really good, it’s just like the boys. I spend most of my time with my teammates. It’s a just good relationship,” Rutledge said.

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Varsity hockey team wins first place in the Illinois West Cup and heads to the state competition