April van der Sluys
DRAPER — The Juan Diego Catholic High School hockey team is back in their own team jerseys after seven years of playing under several independent high school teams due to low player count. With efforts led by head coach Moe van der Sluys, JD hockey was back at full strength to start the 2021-2022 hockey season on Sept. 22, when Juan Diego took home a 6-2 win against the SL Stars.
Juan Diego hockey brought home its third state title in 2018 – an accomplishment that coach van der Sluys was able to share with his hockey-playing daughter, Piper. Having coached this team long enough to have had all three of his children on the team over the years, it was fitting that the state championship win came with his youngest on the ice.
“You always play to win, but like I’ve always told our players, we play to have fun first,” he said. “If you’re having fun while playing the sport you love, then you are already winning.”
Still, “it was a great feeling to lift that trophy after having coached the team for so long,” the coach said.
This year’s team of 14 skaters is young, with only two seniors on the roster, and it looks to the next generation of hockey players coming to Juan Diego to continue to build up this team and keep them skating as one.
“It has always been our team’s mission to keep our hockey players at Juan Diego skating and playing the sport we love,” van der Sluys said. “Being able to play the 2021-2022 Utah High School Hockey season wearing our school’s jersey and representing Juan Diego, has been a long road but well worth the journey.”
The JDCHS hockey schedule is available at www.gosoaringeagle.com or www.utahhighschoolhockey.com.
April van der Sluys is the advancement coordinator for Juan Diego Catholic Schools.