Tomahawk and Lakeland Union join forces for girls hockeySubmitted: 01/19/2017
MINOCQUA - In the Northwoods, high school sports teams occasionally  join together to make sure they can form a full team. This season, Tomahawk girls hockey has co-op'd with the Lakeland Union team.

The decision was made because of low numbers on the Tomahawk team.

"We knew for a while that we were either going to have to co-op or end up playing with the guys, one way or another," said Tomahawk senior Erin Sparks.

With this being the last year Sparks is able to play, she knows how much this season means to her.

"We stepped on the ice the first day and everybody was ready and everybody could skate," said Sparks.

Head coach Steve Bucklew is happy to have the three Hatchets come aboard.

"It was nice for the girls who didn't have a place to go, that they had a place to go," said Bucklew.

A place to go that has welcomed them with open arms. When the team would break a huddle, they would all yell "Lakeland!" But the Tomahawk girls had a better idea.

"Me, Riley, and Serena all kind of felt left out because we're from Tomahawk and it's a new team this year. So ever since then, we started saying 'Family!' every break down," said Sparks.

That one simple word is reflected on the ice.

"They all work hard, they all expect each other to play well and play hard," said Sparks.

Next up for the team are Waupaca and Northland Pines, which are two very tough teams.

"We have the drive, we have the will, we have the skill to win those games," Sparks said. "We just have to be able to pull together, get focused right away and we honestly really have a shot."

Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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