The Highlands Golden Rams hockey team celebrates its fifth season in its return to the ice in the 2017-18 season, as the team looks to continue the success it has seen since re-establishment of the program.
In 2016-17, Highlands Hockey graduated its first four-year letterman since the restart of the team. Mason Prill played all four years, mainly on the defense, ending his high school career with 10 goals and 12 assists. Shane Kramer finished his high school career as a three-year letterman, the No. 1 goalie for the Rams for nearly the entirety of his days in a Highlands sweater. Nick Hilliard will also truly be missed around the team, also a key figure on the Highlands football team who left his mark in the Brown and Gold.
The 2017-18 edition of the Golden Rams is highlighted by the future of the program who will be playing night in and night out. A large group of newcomers, part of the second major class to have come through the developmental program, will certainly have a big part to play in the team's success.
The offense will be led by junior Dalton Swartz, who has scored 43 goals in his first two seasons with the team. Senior Caleb Black returns for his fourth season, and will be looking to add to his total of 12 goals and 20 assists over his first three years. Junior Grace Johnson was a very welcome addition to the attack in her first year, and sophomore Robbie Singer and senior Cole Carson are also ready to contribute after solid first seasons with the Golden Rams.
On defense, sophomores Jayden Yawkey and Avery Sabatini had very impressive freshman campaigns, and their contributions will play a major part in the team's fortunes this season, along with first-year players Tessa Deemer and Bradan O'Neill.
In goal, junior Cameron Prill is back for a second season, joined by junior Wes Deemer and freshman Donovan DeSabetino as the last line of defense.
Moving up from the developmental program -- but still expected to play vital roles from the start -- are freshmen Colin Gorman, Jaicob Mammay and Logan Roberts. Rounding out the roster are juniors Zac Kuniak and Chase Young, sophomores Tanner Melle and David Cattley, freshman AJ Babinsack and senior Chase Wirick, who is part of our co-operative relationship with Leechburg High School.
The Highlands Hockey Association wants to thank the students, teachers, alumni and the community for their incredible support of the team. Throughout the team's short history in its return, the backing has been second to none throughout all of Western Pennsylvania.
The Highlands Golden Rams hockey team is coached by Rick Lawes and assisted by Shawn Wislie and Robbie Singer (both of whom are Rams hockey alums), and Scott Scolaro. As a club sport governed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League, the Highlands hockey program is completely self-funded by players and parents.