Bears savor state hockey title

Photo courtesy of Lynn Steffensky

Members of the Roosevelt High School hockey team celebrate the school’s first-ever state championship March 12 at Compuware Arena in Plymouth. The Bears defeated Birmingham Brother Rice 4-1 in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 finals.

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — Hockey fans here have a reason to celebrate.

The Roosevelt High School Bears won the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 state hockey championship last weekend, bringing home the first state championship in any sport in school history.

“I told the kids they needed to believe we had a shot,” coach Mike Quint said. “They needed to take every game one game at a time.”

That approach helped the team beat Birmingham Brother Rice 4-1 March 12 at Compuware Arena in Plymouth.

Quint said the key to this year’s success was strong leadership, noting that seniors Gerald Mayhew and Nick Kovalchik, who have been playing since their freshman year, were integral parts of the team.

“They certainly stepped up when we needed them to,” he said.

Quint, who is in his eighth season, said this year’s team was “extra special.”

“I think it all just came together,” he said.

He said his team’s biggest obstacle this season was keeping their focus.

“Every team you play is important,” Quint said. “You gotta play it like it’s a playoff game. We played some pretty stiff competition all year, and we’re very lucky to have the record we have.”

The Bears had a record of 20-4 in the regular season.

“It’s just been a great accomplishment for them,” Athletic Director Tom DeSana said. “It’s nice to see their hard work pay off. They’re a good group of kids.”

The win garnered praise from officials at Monday’s City Council meeting, who declared last Friday as Wyandotte Bears Hockey Day. A parade was held downtown that day as well.