WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW)- It’s been two years since the D.C. Everest Hockey team has been to the state tournament. But the Evergreens are looking to change that with the help of senior Grant Oertel.
"Grant's a class act kid. He's kind of the face of our program right now," Everest hockey coach Dan Van Slyke said.
Oertel has shown to be the kind of leader that anyone would want. Not only for what he can do on the ice, but off the ice as well.
"Leads us in points plays a ton of minutes, he also leads us in the classroom, he's the number one ranked class leader on our team. Just a tremendous kid just speaks volumes about how he is," Van Slyke added.
Grant is a statistical leader on the team as well. But he doesn’t care if he’s assisting goals, or scoring them.
"As long as it's going in the net and as long as we're winning games I'm happy," Oertel explained.
Grant was one of the sophomores on the Evergreen team that made it to state two years ago, and he’s keen to revisit Madison this year.
"We had a goal at the beginning of the year, get better every day, and get better every practice. I think a lot of that was striving towards the goal of making it to the state tournament again," Oertel said.
Now that the playoffs are just days away, everyone is locked in.
"It’s playoff hockey time, we want to be peaking at the right time I think that we're doing that with this group," Van Slyke explained.
"Teams like to talk about peaking at the right time and I think we've been playing some pretty good hockey lately. Keep it going keep the work intensity up and we'll have a pretty promising post season," Oertel added.
As his final season comes to a close, Grant’s true joy comes from playing with such special teammates.
"It's a brotherhood really. You become best friend with a lot of guys out here and these are people that you can look towards, and people that you can lean on in various points in your life. So it's always fun to be out here playing a game and having fun with all your friends," Oertel said.