The Last Dance

The Last Dance Video by Richard Hillwig

The Last Dance, became known by Michael Jordan as a suggestion of nostalgia, recognizing that in sports any game can be your last. For the seniors on the Greater Latrobe Ice Hockey team, they’ve taken the idea of The Last Dance seriously. It all started when Louis Amatucci named their hockey group chat ‘The Last Dance’ and it just stuck from there. This was immediately taken to heart, realizing that this season would be the last year of playing together for these 14 seniors, and with that comes the last chance to win the desired Pens Cup. 

After a disappointing end to the season last year, the Greater Latrobe hockey team was looking to make a comeback in this season. Last year the season ended with the team falling just short of playoffs. “Not making playoffs last year made us all want more for this year,” is what Senior Captain Peyton Myers had to say on last year’s season. Another senior, Jd Robinson, added that “we wanted to do something special this season, something for everyone to remember.” 

With last season in mind the 14 seniors have banded together to make their “Last Dance” memorable. “It means it’s our last chance to do something special, our last chance to play together as seniors,” said Senior Fletcher Harvey. But not only is it the last chance for the seniors, Noah Guidos contributed to the fact that “this is the last year this specific group of guys will play together, this team will never be the same.” 

For hockey players in the PIHL, the big goal is always to win The Penguins Cup, but for the seniors at Latrobe they are taking it day by day, goal by goal. They started with the simplicity of winning games, and when that was accomplished they needed to make the playoffs. The Ice Cats have successfully made the playoffs and now the goal is to win. 

“Everyone wants to win Pens cup and with that you make it to the state championship,” Myers noted, “But to win pens cup we have to win the game before that, and to make it to that game we have to win our first playoff game, it starts there.” 

For many of these seniors winning the Pens Cup would be extra rewarding. Myers, Harvey, Robinson, Jack Beddick and Jason Markowsky were call-ups as well as Josh Coffee who was on the varsity team the year that the Hockey team was about to compete for it, before the game was taken away by the pandemic. These seniors as well as Guidos, Rocco Marino, Connor Keddie, Joe Coletti, Reid West, Nate Huczko, Nik Manolakos, and Ethan Alias look to finish their senior season on the best note. 

With having 14 seniors, the closeness of the group has helped to connect them on and off the ice. “It makes it a lot easier to communicate on the ice, and we can help each other block out bad advice and things that happen,” explained Guidos. Harvey added to the point by saying “We can be honest with each other. Because we’re so close we can hold each other accountable and there are no hard feelings. We all just want to make each other better.” 

These guys not only have a connection on the ice but also outside of the rink. Many of them often go to Chick-fil-a together and hang out regularly outside of school. With a team this close, it makes this last season even more memorable for the seniors. Hockey is different in the way that most kids start so young. For some of these players, they’ve been playing together and have been friends for most of their lives. “We’ve spent so much time together, so many memories and friendships made and strengthened,” said Robinson. “The years we’ve spent playing together will be something we will all remember forever. This year is just extra special because it’s our last chance to make those memories together,” noted Myers. 

As these seniors finish out their senior season and Last Dance, not only do they walk away from highschool but their younger teammates. “We wanna leave high expectations, something for them to aspire to do or be,” said Harvey. “We wanted the younger guys to have people to look up to and for us to leave them with good memories to look back on,” stated Guidos. 

As this team rides out the end of their season they look forward to what’s left of the season. The last few games, the annual playoff hair dying, and the hopeful long run into playoffs. This may be their Last Dance, but these seniors are determined to make it the best it can be. No regrets.