Bill McSween has proven it’s his time to take the helm of the FHC hockey team

Bill McSween has proven its his time to take the helm of the FHC hockey team

Two years after the departure of long-time head coach Kevin Zascheck, new head coach Bill McSween has filled the gap tremendously well. Within his first two seasons, he has been able to advance and compete at a high level in multiple rounds of playoff games very early in his career with FHC.

McSween stepped into the role after working at the college level for a few years. To start his career here at FHC, McSween got to work with stud defensive players like this year’s seniors Lucas Jeffreys and Josh Smith. His teams at FHC have played their best when they are led by a very strong defense that can create opportunities on offense. Players like Jeffreys and Smith perfectly fit the scheme that Bill McSween was trying to implement on the team, and this led to a lot of success for his teams.

“I expect them to build upon what the previous seniors have accomplished,” coach McSween spoke. “I expect them to show strong character on and off the ice. I expect them to treat people the right way. I expect them to train at a championship level every day. I expect them to become pillars of the community.”

While being at FHC, McSween has also coached some very talented goalies like Gavin Brady, Jake Munger, Justin Baehr, and Peter Nemmers. Next season, McSween will be left with a senior Baehr and a junior Nemmers to take over the net. Both of these goalies played a majority of the time during this season, and Mcsween is excited about the opportunity to coach these two together for the last time.

“Pete and Justin have every opportunity to be the best goalie tandem in the State,” cosch McSween mentioned. “They need to push each other and challenge each other to become the best possible goalies they become. Our goaltending was one of our strongest position this year, and it’s because they were challenged and had to compete every day. That will continue into the spring, summer, fall, and eventually into the season.”

During this season, FHC hockey got to have many special experiences, such as weekend road trips, where the boys would travel all across the state to compete in weekend tournaments and showcases. Trips like this are perfect chemistry builders if everything goes well. McSween loved to use these opportunities last year, as the Rangers competed and played very well in several weekend tournaments.

“It helps create bonds and friendships! It’s important for our younger players they feel comfortable with the older players,” coach McSween said. “We have great leadership on this team, and I feel like our younger guys were able to excel because they knew the upperclassman had their backs. The trips are a great way for parents to get to know each other as well, and build those bonds as well. That way, when things aren’t going well, the team can drawback on the experiences they had earlier in the year to pull together instead of growing apart. It has helped build a stronger culture within our team.”

McSween will now be entering his third season here as head coach of the Rangers. His team next season will be headlined by future seniors Sammy Mielock, Anthony Ott, Nate Almassian, and both goalies in Baehr and Nemmers. In his past two seasons, McSween has been able to coach his teams to the Regional Finals and Semi-finals. He ended the four-year skid against Grand Rapids Catholic Central with a huge first-round playoff upset. Now, he gets an opportunity to work and develop a very young team that could shape up to be the future of FHC hockey.

“It’s a culture of doing things the right way, both on and off the ice. We have one of the highest GPAs in the state of Michigan, we donate our time to the community and youth hockey players, and countless people in the arena are impressed with how our team clean the locker room and conduct themselves off the ice,” coach McSween answered. “We have created a culture where Freshmen and Sophomores can thrive and become not only better hockey players, but leaders. I expect that to continue, and I expect us to have a championship mentality every day of the year.  I expect us to win the regional championship in the end.”