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Hermantown Sticking to Hawks Formula

Updated: February 12, 2019 10:47 PM

Every streak has an end.

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"I think there was definitely some sort of pressure once Coach [Bruce] Plante left to kind of fill his shoes. He left a lot of tradition behind and I think Pat [Coach Andrews] felt that the most," said senior forward Elliott Peterson.

For the first time since 2009, Hermantown's season did not end vying for a Class A state title. However, making it to the tournament was a huge sigh of relief for Patrick Andrews. Knowing that he helped carry on the tradition of the Hawks making the state tourney for the ninth straight year has eased his nerves rounding out his second season as the bench boss.

"There's always that pressure of just wanting to do well, but it's been a lot better this year as far as just taking it and enjoying it," said Andrews.

The team joked that last year instead of playing intense, they were just simply playing tense; trying to live of the expectations of being the two-time defending state champions. This year, their motto is trusting the process.

"What we do works, how we prepare works. I think we have good things in place. It's just a matter of getting better every day, trusting yourselves, and trusting that - that works," added Andrews.

When you look at Hermantown's state tournament streak, in addition to the team's 13 returners with five seniors who played on the 2017 state championship team, it's a stacked group of experienced leaders.

"If you go through each one of your lines and you have one of those guys whose been there and done that, to help teach those younger kids. It's a huge aspect of the team," said senior forward Brady Baker.

Those who have been around the program for years, know that sticking to the formula that works for them is key.

"He says seniors lead, juniors follow, and sophomores shut up," said Peterson on how Coach Andrews runs the program. "We just stick to that," he added.

It's one of the many reasons that the Hawks mark their trek to the X on their calendars every March. It's also why tradition remains so important to this perennial powerhouse.

"It's an honor. You grow up here, you always see the older guys - I saw my brother win a state championship. You want to be a part of that," added senior defensemen Darian Gotz.

"At the end of the day, we can prepare them, we can try to put them in position to succeed the best we can, but at the at the end of the day, it's their deal. It's their senior year," said Andrews.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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