A youth hockey team with players from several local high schools qualified and competed this week for a national title.
The Toledo Cherokee U16 team competed in USA Hockey's Tier II 3A tournament in Reston, Va.
The team consists of players from northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The Cherokee U16 team competes in the Greater Toledo Amateur Hockey Association at the Team Toledo Ice House in West Toledo.
The Cherokee finished 36-17-3 after losing two of three games in pool play, which began Tuesday.
The team went 4-0 at the Tier II Ohio championships at Tam-O-Shanter earlier this month for its third straight state title.
“The state of Ohio tournament is made up of some of the most talented young athletes around the state,” said Adam Dunn, one of the team’s coaches. “The U16 Toledo Cherokee team is made up of young men that have earned a spot on this elite travel team in search of playing at the junior level and higher.”
The travel team, which consist of players with 1997 and 1998 birth years, also competes in the Little Caesars Hockey League based in the Detroit metro area. The Cherokee compete from August into April.
The team's captain is forward Zach Swanson, who attends Ida High School. He lead the team with 40 goals and 28 assists before the national tournament.
Forwards Brian Hack (St. Francis de Sales) and Tristen Snyder (Clay) are the assistant captains. Hack has 28 goals and 32 assists, while Snyder has 14 goals and 13 assists.
Defenseman Theodore Austin (Northview) has 60 assists. Defenseman Blake Mullins (Clay) has seven goals and 17 assists.
Goalie Jacob Smalley (Bedford) has a 17-9-1 record and a 2.58 goals-against average.
“All of the young men display not only skills to perform at a high level, passion for the game, but extraordinary work ethic both on the ice and in the classroom,” Dunn said.