The hockey team will play its most important game yet when it faces Mr. Juliet on Wednesday (Feb. 13) in the Predators Cup state competition.

The winner of the 6:30 p.m. game at Ford Ice Center in Nashville will move a step closer to a state championship.

The team advanced to the Predators Cup last week after it defeated Montgomery Bell Academy 4-3 to win the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey (GNASH) Cup. It was the first time in team history that it has won the cup, which goes to the top high school team in the Nashville area.

“It was really exciting,” said senior defenseman Jaxon Rathert, whose father, Tim Rathert, is the team’s coach. “We haven’t been to the finals in a long time. To win was even better.”

The hockey team consists of 23 players from Hendersonville, Station Camp, Beech and Merrol Hyde high schools.

This year’s squad has 16 wins, one loss and one tie. Jaxon Rathert said this team is deeper and better conditioned than in past years.

“We can play a lot further into the games instead of getting tired in the first or second period,” he said.

The Predators Cup is sponsored by the Nashville Predators professional hockey team. More than 25 teams from Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville compete in independent league play from October to February for seeding placement in the competition. The overall winner will be decided in March.

Story by Ava Heeren and Mandy Pirtle


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