Jake Suter takes over as Lakeland hockey head coachSubmitted: 06/26/2018
Andrew Goldstein
Andrew Goldstein
Sports Anchor/Reporter

Jake Suter takes over as Lakeland hockey head coach
MINOCQUA - The phrases "professional athlete" and "natural talent" usually go hand-in-hand.

But Jake Suter, who competed overseas and whose dad played in the NHL, didn't always stand out as a kid.

"He wasn't the fastest skater, but he always worked hard and that's what I tried to instill in him," said Gary Suter, Jake's father.

Now Jake is trying to bring that same work ethic to the Lakeland Boys' hockey team.

"Our team is going to embody what this community really is and what the Northwoods really is: hard-working, blue-collar people," Jake Suter said.

When Suter speaks about what the Northwoods really is, he speaks from experience, having grown up 25 minutes from Minocqua in Lac du Flambeau. 

"This community and this rink and the people around here mean so much to me," Jake Suter said. "I want every kid to have the opportunity that I had."

So far, those kids are gravitating toward their new head coaches' mentality.

"If we don't have the best skill, you may as well have the best fit on the ice so you can constantly keep going all the way to the third period and then you can take games in the end," Lakeland Union senior Connor Nicklaus said.

The only thing more important to Suter and his coaching staff than building a persistent team on the ice is building character off of it.

"For the majority of these kids, they're going to play their four years of high school hockey and then they're going to have to go on and be a successful adult," said assistant coach Gary Olson.

Part of that transition is embracing the menial work.

"They saw my dad mowing the grass at the rink the other day so they might think he's the groundskeeper here," Jake Suter said.

Lakeland's team only thinks of Jake as one thing, though: Coach.

"He's just a good overall man," Nicklaus said.

Lakeland Union's summer season runs through Aug. 5. The Thunderbirds finished 7-6 last year in fourth place out of seven teams in the Great Northern Conference. 

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

MERRILL - Veterans grabbed a plate of brats and a pint of beer Sunday at the Sawmill Brewing Company in Merrill for a special fundraiser.

The event 'Brats for the Brave' gave veterans a free lunch and raised money for the Northwoods Veteran's Post's project of creating a community center for eight different veteran and girl or boy scout organizations.

+ Read More

LA CROSSE - A new initiative from Habitat for Humanity has kicked off in western Wisconsin to encourage volunteerism and ultimately provide housing assistance for veterans.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - It looked like a typical shooting day for members of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range. But veteran Larry Brown tried something new.

Brown served during Vietnam, the first Gulf War, and the deployment to Bosnia.

"I worked for the CIA for several years," said Brown. "When I got back into the military, that caused me to get into military intelligence."

He got to shoot without putting a dent in his wallet Sunday for an afternoon of shooting trap and skeet. The day was free of charge for veterans. 

+ Read More

MADISON - The Madison Fire Department may make changes to its health programs and policies as federal officials plan to investigate the death of one of the department's members.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee authorities are investigating a shooting that left a 22-year-old man seriously wounded.

+ Read More

Play Video


Casa Mexicana brought out the works to honor those who served.

Veterans got to eat free throughout Sunday afternoon. Then they got discounted dinners for the rest of the night.

Owner Alejandro Jacinto said he wanted to do something special for all of those who fought for our freedom.

"There were a lot of people here this morning. We saw a lot of happy faces," said Jacinto. "A lot of people didn't even know about it, so when they came here and saw they were going to get a free meal they were just so grateful. But really we are the ones that are grateful."

This was the restaurant's first time providing free meals to veterans.

They plan to move to a new location in Rhinelander in the beginning of December.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A 52-year-old Merrill woman died after a crash west of Rhinelander on Friday night.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, the woman was driving a 2001 Pontiac Bonneville west on Highway 8 around 10:15 p.m. when she lost control near Shady Rest Road.  Her car crossed the center line and crashed into a semi-truck driving in the other direction.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here