Send-off to state in Hibbing for two youth hockey teams

[anvplayer video=”5096624″ station=”998130″]

Like many towns on the Range, hockey history runs deep in Hibbing and Chisholm. And on Thursday, a significant moment for the record books.

For the first time, the towns are sending two youth teams to the state tournament: Bantam A and Peewee A.

The Peewee A team is defending champs. And some members of that team from last year are now on the Bantam team as well.

All the Peewees dressed up in suits. "Look good, play good," Cole Swanson told us.

"I wore one at districts, and regions, and everyone wore them at state last year," explained Whitaker Rewertz.

They are looking forward to making new memories this year. "It was fun, a fun weekend with everybody," Aaden Folstad told us about last year’s win.

At a celebration send-off from the Memorial Building, the kids boarded charter buses, helped paid for by donations. Family and friends lined up to take pictures and cheer them on.

It’s the first time the Bantams have been to state, since 1994. That’s when John Schweiberger was a player.

Now he has a son on the team. "At first the kids didn’t realize how big of an accomplishment it was, and now the nerves are starting to set in. and realizing what they actually accomplished."

Pete Hyduke was a coach back during those days. "It’s generations of hockey, and it’s neat to have a grandson that comes through the program and has a chance to go to state. It was interesting, I was able to coach some of the fathers of the sons going today. It’s just a neat thing."

The boys had a police and fire escort through town before leaving.

"I’m feeling great, for the last year in youth hockey," shared Ayden Jerkovich, a Bantam player.

The Peewees play Friday at 12pm in Woodbury. The Bantams play Friday at 6pm in East Grand Forks.