NSW Feature // Loyalty to the Game, Not the Sweater

It’s as simple as this, winning a state championship is the ultimate goal in high school athletics. Although their schools didn’t life the cup this year, a number of our area hockey players have one more shot at a state title. Naperville Sports Weekly’s Kevin Jackman has more.

In sports, colors mean loyalty. Or do they? Red and black one day, blue and yellow the next. That’s the life of area hockey player Jake Barnhart. The Sabres bring together several area high school rivals to band together under the same colors. Brothers Jack and Rick Hatton of Naperville Central and Kevin Ringlein from Neuqua Valley also make time for high school and club teams.

Making matters increasingly intense for Barnhart, both Benet Academy and the Naperville Sabres are really good. Benet making a run to the final four in the Blackhawk Cup before losing to Providence, though, the Kennedy Cup is still within reach for the Redwings on Sunday.

And the Sabres, ending their long season with a heartbreaking and controversial loss to the Geneva Cyclones in the Tier 2 Under-18 playoffs.

No time to dwell for Barnhart, while Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley fell in the earlier rounds of the Blackhawk Cup, Barnhart and Benet Academy now have to shake off their most recent loss and look forward to the third and final game of the Kennedy Cup, a winner-take-all affair with Providence, the team that knocked the Redwings out of the state playoffs.

Game kicks off at five and don’t forget to check us out on Twitter for updates on the game. Our Twitter handle is @NCTV17.

Covering the Sabres and Redwings, Kevin Jackman, Naperville Sports Weekly.

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