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Coach Jim Kennedy expects a good year for MBA Storm boys

Jim Kennedy begins his fifth season as head coach of the Morris Benson Area boys' hockey team with high expectations for the Storm.

The team has some depth and Kennedy says every player on the team will contribute.

"We've been rebuilding (for the past few seasons)," said Kennedy. "It should be a really promising year."

Four seniors lead the Storm this season. They are forwards  Tyler Hansen and Ethan Ratliff-Crain, forward/defenseman Tristan Michealson, and goalie Andrew Fath.

Kennedy said the seniors are the leaders in practice.

"Those guys are the core of our team."

There are five juniors including forwards Luke Schwarz, Kelly Engquist, and Tanner Kirkeide, and defensemen Isaac Berens, and Jake Huston.

Eight sophomores round out the roster: forwards Tanner Picht, Brody Gimberlin, Andrew Rentz, and Darion Helberg, defensemen Mac Beyer, Chad Schwarz, and Jordan Staples, and goalie Paden Strutz. Four of the sophomores are new to the varsity team, replacing four graduates.

"They all have adapted really well," said Kennedy. "They all play an important role."

The Storm's goal this season is to win the Southwest Conference, and Kennedy would like to see a top-five finish in the Section. The Storm is on the way to reaching that goal by opening the season with a win over section rival Willmar.

"That was a big win in terms of where we'll be seeded," said Kennedy.

Kennedy is assisted by Scott Barta and goalie coach Josh Nyquist. Former Storm player Tony Schultz returns as a volunteer coach.