(photo by Ralph LoVuolo)
SRHS team rolling in talent
The Scripps Ranch High School roller hockey team is off to good start in a season brimming with talent and opportunity.
The players brought their undefeated record into this week and beat Westview High 6-3 on Wednesday, Jan. 16. (Photos on this page are from that victory.)
The team is coming off last year’s 17-3 record. Led by CIF Roller Hockey Player of the Year Matt Gauthier, it was a season that saw the Falcons go into CIF playoffs as a second seed. The team made it to the semi-finals before falling to Westview in overtime.
Head coach Greg Friedman looks ahead to this season with optimism.
He has something of a farm system feeding talent into the Scripps Ranch team. Until recently, Friedman coached roller hockey at both Scripps Ranch High and at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, where his sons were playing.
“The last couple of years we’ve really had a lot of talent,” he said of the Falcons. “Most of those kids that played at Marshall are now on varsity (at Scripps Ranch High), so this is probably our strongest year that we’re going to have. Most of those kids have been playing together for seven years.”
Gauthier graduated last year, but other local talent is ready to make an impact in the rink.
“Last year we had the top player in the league. This year, we’re more team-oriented. A lot of passing,” Friedman said. “I’ve got two freshman twins that play for the Anaheim Junior Ducks.”
Those two are Ben and Jack Ivey. Ben is a forward, and Jack plays defense. Both also play ice hockey for the 14 and under AAA Junior Ducks, the highest level for that age group.
“They’ve started this year (for the Falcons), and they’ve already made a big difference,” Friedman said.
Another standout player on the team, according to the coach, is senior Cody Sherman, a forward who also plays for the Anaheim Duck’s AAA team.
“He’s probably one of the top players in the country,” Friedman said. “He’ll probably go on to play juniors (with the U.S. National Team) next year.”
A dentist with a private practice in Scripps Ranch, Friedman is a Serra High School alum who played soccer while growing up in Southern California. He said he got into hockey while attending dental school in St. Louis. He’s been coaching since 1992, shortly after his sons started playing.
The team’s assistant coach is Jon Gauthier, older brother of Matt, a Scripps Ranch High alum and a former Falcon roller hockey player himself. Following Scripps Ranch High, Jon Gauthier won three National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association championships while skating for Lindenwood University.
The Falcons’ next roller hockey game will be Wednesday, Jan. 23 against Patrick Henry High School.
Photos by Ralph LoVuolo. Visit ralphlovuolophotography.com.