Welcoming in freshman

Madvig strives to build team chemistry


Paul Allie Dickinson

The crowd in the stands howls. The Black River Falls hockey freshman Calvin Lakowske just scored with junior Wyatt Madvig’s assist. Madvig skates straight to Lakowske with a huge smile on his face and puts his arms around him, congratulating him on reaching his potential in the game. After celebrating as a team on the ice, Madvig, Lakowske, Henry Meek and the rest of the first line glide over and give high-fives to the rest of the team with smiles bigger than ever.

Madvig believes that to start on the right foot coming into a season, having good team chemistry is essential to make the freshman feel comfortable and welcomed.

“I think that it is important to make sure that the freshmen feel welcomed because if they come into the season uncomfortable around the team, we start off on the wrong foot when it comes to team chemistry,” Madvig said. “Making the freshman feel welcomed makes them more excited to come to practice every day and want to be there and work hard.”

Madivg’s help with the freshman this year changes how the freshman wants to approach being an upperclassman.

“With Wyatt helping the freshmen so much this year, it makes me want to help other freshmen when I’m an upperclassman because of the effects it’s had on me as a player and as a human being,” freshman Calvin Lakowske said.

When Wyatt first joined the boys hockey team, many upperclassmen treated him the same way he is treating the freshmen currently.

“What encouraged me to help the freshman feel more welcomed was to do the same thing the upperclassmen did for me when I was a freshman. Clay Madvig, Karsten Hunter, Ian Zoschke and Jonah Zoschke took me under their wing right away and made me feel like I was joining the ‘family,'” said Madvig. “Whether it is giving rides to the rink or home, and a lot of trips to Kwik Trip, you just try to do the same thing that your older peers did for you.”

Lakowske has been having a successful season this year, only being a freshman. As of January 12, Lakowske is leading the team with 25 points. Also, the first line has currently put up 79% of the team’s points, including both Madvig and Lakowske. Having Madvig by his side has helped him reach his true potential and has given him skills on and off the ice.

“Wyatt has definitely helped me reach my potential as he shows great habits and gives me little tips to make me better. I think that the rest of my freshman year he will continue doing this and help me reach my potential,” said Lakowske. “Also, I’ve gained skills from Wyatt, which goes from doing a drill better or to even just being a better person.”

Madvig not only helps in the rink during practice or games to make the freshman feel more welcome, but he also ensures that they can get to practice and home safely.

“Wyatt Madvig has helped me feel welcomed this year by helping me out with anything I might have questions with and telling me when I am doing something wrong so I can better myself. He also helps me get to practice because I can’t drive yet,” said Freshman Henry Meek. “Also, he was always nice to me when I would walk into the rink.”

Throughout high school, it may be nerve-racking to join a sport. Having someone there to greet you on the team may help you improve at school.

“Joining the hockey team this year has made me more confident at school,” said Lakowske. “It also helped improve my style as we dress up on home game days since we have to dress up.”

Having an upperclassman on the team you join can impact your overall view of the team.

“Knowing I have Wyatt to talk to, it makes me feel like I am wanted and belong on the team,” said Meek. “He also will talk to me one-on-one to tell me something I could do better to help improve.”

Making connections with the freshman doesn’t only change the view of the team for them, but it also changes for everyone else, including the community.

“When the freshman believe they belong, team energy and chemistry is always directly impacted. Guys are more comfortable around each other in the locker room, on the bus, and during the game,” said Madvig. “Coaches are happier when play is going well, which leads to an overall better morale for the team. This chemistry helps the team win and keep the energy of the community behind us as well.”