Before Homestead and Leo compete in the state tournament, with some of the games in Fort Wayne, there is the matter of trying to win a city championship.
The battle for the inaugural Memorial Cup will be at 7 p.m. today at the Lutheran Health SportsCenter between the two top seeds – the No. 1 Spartans (18-2-0 in league play) and the No. 2 Lions (14-5-1).
Homestead has won three straight Fort Wayne Area High School Association city tournament championships and has also won the Roy Chin trophy as regular-season champions two years in a row.
Our preparation this week was strictly for playing Leo, Homestead coach Jeff Van Gessel said. It does not leave us any time to look past the city championship to state. We will have to tackle state with no practice; the schedule simply does not leave time for it. To the kids, the city championship is all about bragging rights, but they would also like to have a state banner hanging from the rafters.
The Spartans are the No. 1 seed in the Indiana State High School Hockey Association state tournament for Class 4A, while the Lions are top ranked in 3A.
After a hard-fought game Saturday (in the city semifinals), the players are in a one-game-at-a-time mental state, Leo coach Dan Schiebel said.
The Spartans are led by the top two scorers in the league in Paul Lee (23 goals, 37 assists, 60 points) and Landon Rody (27 goals, 23 assists, 50 points). Robbie Clay also has 28 points.
The city championship game should be between the top two teams in the league, Schiebel said. It has come to that, and now our goal is to try to neutralize the top scoring line in the league.
Leo has Scott Jacoby (46 points) and Adam Schaffer (30 points).
This year’s Leo team is nothing like last year, Van Gessel said. This team has already beaten us during the regular season, and they are very talented.
Also in the state tournament, Carroll is No. 6 in 3A; Bishop Dwenger No. 4 in 2A, the Fort Wayne Bruins are No. 2 and Snider is No. 4 in 1A. The first three rounds of the 4A and 1A tournament will be played at Lutheran Health SportsCenter on Saturday and Sunday. Classes 5A, 3A and 2A will be in Fishers. All the championships will be next weekend at Notre Dame.