Sangster takes over St. Charles' program
Rob Sangster thought long and hard before leaving the Olentangy High School hockey program.
He had served as co-coach with Mazin Habash the past three seasons and had two sons -- Trever and Tyler -- play for the Braves before graduating in 2011. But earlier this summer, he opted to become coach at St. Charles.
"It was a tough choice to leave because I loved working with the players at Olentangy," Sangster said. "That was really difficult."
Sangster owns Hockey Training Center Ohio, which has locations in Grandview and Powell, and has worked with some of his future players.
"I worked with them in the past and (St. Charles has) a lot of really good players," he said. "We have a chance to do some exciting things. We will have both a varsity and a (junior varsity) team and will be able to call people up (from j.v.) if we get injuries."
Last season, St. Charles finished 18-13-1 overall, losing to Springboro 5-4 in overtime in the second round of the district tournament. Seeded eighth in the district, the Cardinals had a first-round bye.
St. Charles finished fifth (9-8, 18 points) in the Capital Hockey Conference-Red Division, behind Dublin Jerome (14-1-1-1, 30), Olentangy Liberty (12-4-1, 25), Cincinnati Moeller (10-4-1-2, 23) and Dublin Coffman (10-6-1, 21).
Upper Arlington (14-2-1, 29) won the CHC-White and DeSales (9-6-0-1, 19) won the CHC-Blue.
St. Charles did not compete in the Blue Jackets Cup but won the consolation tournament by defeating Olentangy 4-1 in the championship game.
This winter, the Cardinals will be in the CHC-White with DeSales, Olentangy Orange and Thomas Worthington.
"We really liked Rob's experience," St. Charles athletics director David Lawler said. "He's been around hockey in the area for a while and he really did a nice job with Olentangy. He is a good fit for our program and can help take us to the next level."
Last season, Olentangy finished 12-21 after falling to Liberty 5-2 in the third round of the district tournament.
The Braves defeated Cincinnati St. Xavier 5-4 in double overtime in the first round and beat seventh-seeded Troy 4-3 in the second round. They finished fourth (5-12, 10 points) in the CHC-White.
In the 2010-11 season, Olentangy finished 21-15, losing 5-3 to Liberty in a district semifinal.
"As far as the (St. Charles) players, we're highly skilled but need to move the puck better," said Sangster, who will be assisted by Nick Eddinger. "We have to learn how to take care of both ends of the ice. I think we have a lot of really high-achievers."
Among those expected to return are senior forward Kevin Dugan (11 goals, 4 assists) and junior forwards Daniel Schirtzinger (12 goals, 13 assists), Ryan Cleary (7 goals, 16 assists), Jacob Weikert (6 goals, 14 assists) and Mitch Wade (7 goals, 10 assists).
The Cardinals also expect to return both goaltenders in senior Teo Juratovac and junior Alec Ward. Juratovac, who has played varsity the past three seasons, had a .884 save percentage last season and Ward had a .912 save percentage.
Others expected back are senior defensemen Daniel Schmeling and Will Stechschulte, junior forward Luke Andracki and Joey Ryan, junior defensemen Ryan Brady, Patrick Brennan and Alec Organ and sophomore forward Clayton Kloz.