Senior defenseman MacKenzie Ess is looking foward to the Apple Valley girls’ hockey season opener Thursday night against St. Paul United.
The Eagles are coming off a 7-18-1 season in 2013-14. They finished seventh in the South Suburban Conference at 6-12-0.
Ess, who is a three-year letterwinner, will serve as an assistant captain in her final high school season. She had three goals and nine assists as a junior. One of her goals came on the power play.
“Strong leadership will have to guide a very young roster,” Apple Valley coach Don Erdall said. “Strengths include team speed and depth.”
Here is a closer look at Ess:
Q: The best movie I’ve seen in the past year?
A: “Lone Survivor.”
Q: Three words or phrases my friends or teammates might use to describe me?
A: Laid back, honest and trustworthy.
Q: Three songs I never skip on my iPod are …
A: ... “Paint the Seconds” by Chevelle; “Worth Dying For” by Rise Against, and “Feel Good Drag” by Anberlin.
Q: What are your three favorite apps?
A: Twitter, Reddit and Snapchat.
Q: How did you get started playing hockey?
A: I was around hockey when I was younger. I first got put in figure skates, and soon figured out that I was much better off in a pair of hockey skates.
Q: What did you work on most prior to the season?
A: My shot and staying in shape.
Q: At my first varsity practice, I felt …
A: ... excited, scared and nervous.
Q: What is your favorite meal prior to a game?
A: Erbert and Gerbert’s.
Q: To get focused for a game, I …
A: ... put in headphones and tune everything else out.
Q: I know I have an edge on an opponent when …
A: ... they show frustration and avert their attention from the purpose of the game.
Q: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
A: To help our team work beyond expectations.
Q: What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete?
A: Playing in section finals against Eagan my freshman year.
Q: Who is your school’s biggest rival, and why?
A: Eastview. We share the same city and every game played against them is much more exciting than just another team.
Q: How do you balance school and sports during the year?
A: I try to get as much homework done before practice. I finish up any extra after practice.
Q: Name one sport that you wish you could play, and why?
A: Golf, because it is a lifelong pastime.
Q: Who is your favorite college or pro sports team and why?
A: I’ve cheered for the Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey since I was young ,and college hockey is always entertaining to watch.
Q: In 10 years, I hope I’m …
A: ... surrounded by people I love.
Q: What is the best sports advice you ever received?
A: To always keep your eye on your destination, but to have fun along the way.