Coach Var Raises the Bar

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LIHockeyLYNDON - The Lyndon Institue Vikings' hockey team will be taking the ice for the first game of the year next week. After long time coach Mickey Murphy retired from the team for personal reasons, new coach Joe Varley has stepped in to lead the team.

Varley - Coach Var, for short - has brought a strong work ethic to the team. The players hope that renewed commitment will lead to good things.

"With the new coach, he seems to be working us hard already, so hopefully we can get the skill back up and get the work effort up," said Jake Solomon, a senior on the team. Solomon is among a handful of players that has been with the varsity squad for four years, and he knows that with seniority comes leadership. "With the coach, with the elders, with everyone else around us," Solomon said. "[We] kind of show them how to lead a team.

Considering that LI went 3-17 last year, it would seem that Coach Var has nowhere to go but up, but that's simply not the case. The departed Murphy was the Lake Region Coach of the Year last year, and consistently kept an undersized Viking squad competitive as other schools folded or merged their hockey programs. Lyndon hasn't won a state championship since 1993; they haven't won a playoff game since 2000. It's up to Coach Var, Solomon, and the rest of the Viking squad to raise their game if they hope to reverse the fortune of the hard-luck hockey program.

You can vist the Lyndon Institute Athletics page online to see the complete Vikings hockey schedule. Their home opener is Wednesday, December 12 against U-32.