BYRON CENTER, Mich. -- For many years, Byron Center students played with the Grandville hockey team as part of a co-op. Now the Byron Center hockey program has starters its third year as a primary hockey school.
"We don't play a very complicated game," first-year head coach Taylor Keyworth said. "Very simple, and the guys work really really hard, and I think that is where most of our success comes from."
The Bulldogs feature eight seniors who have taken the reigns of the team in a big way. Three of the seniors have a sophomore brother on the team.
"It's actually a lot fun for me, because I actually played with my brother back in squirt house," senior Keagan Pratt said. "So it has been kind of a full circle type thing, very end of high school, getting to play with my brother once again."
While all the brothers rave about the advantages of having a sibling on the team, there can be an occasional drawback.
"Me and my brother fight a lot," sophmore Josh Froysland said. "We will be on the ice and just disagree over something. We just fight over little stuff, like bad pass, or he misses a shot. I will chirp him about it, and go back to being brothers."
The Bulldogs do not have a line or defense pairing with the brothers together, because, in each case, one is a forward and the other a defensemen.
"I just liked scoring a little bit more, and I didn't really like playing defense," senior Logan Davis said. "(Younger brother Trevor) is a little bit taller, so he likes playing defense, not getting scored on or anything, so we just kind of found our positions that way."
This year's team features three juniors and nine sophomores on the team, so soon it will be the younger brother counted on to lead the way.
"The seniors have kind of been here from the start three years ago and are on their way out, and now the second generation is coming through," Keyworth added. The coaches are "kind of seeing what those guys do and how they act, and what it's like to be a varsity hockey player at our school, and it is really really helpful for the whole team."
Byron Center (3-1) hosts Hudsonville (4-2) Friday night at Southside Ice Arena in a big game in the Fischer Division of the OK Conference.