|CELEBRATION—Senior Trey Ponto hoists the Under-18 State Championship trophy March 16.|
Senior captains state champion team
Trey Ponto leads Flyers to sweet revenge over Rushmore Sunday
By Hannah Wentzel
His heart is in hockey, and now he has a State Champion medal to hang over it after the Sioux Falls Flyers won the South Dakota Boys State Hockey Championship on Sunday in Fort Pierre.
Senior Trey Ponto is the only WHS senior on the team and the captain of the under-18 Varsity Flyers that capped off a perfect 19-0-2 season with a 4-1 victory over Rushmore in the State Championship Game Sunday. It was a particularly sweet revenge for Ponto and the team after losing to the same team in last year’s final.
“My worst moment would be last year losing to Rapid City for the state title,” Ponto said.
This was balanced with this year’s win and many other great hockey memories, however.
“Over the years I have played for many different teams,” Ponto said. “I have played on many pickup teams in the summer. I was fortunate to make Team South Dakota, a national team, two years in a row and win an under-16 national championship in New Jersey. I was also named tournament MVP and played a huge role on the team.”
Ponto was also pleased to be named a First Team All-State Defenseman at this year’s tournament, as well.
Ponto’s hockey journey started when he was just two years old.
“I always begged my dad to come in the garage and play with me,” he said.
His interest in the sport is thanks to his parents, as they always took him to Stampede games when he was younger.
“I have always loved how fast and physical the game of hockey is,” Ponto said. “I love all of the friendships I have made with the other guys and coaches.”
Although moving on from the Flyers after this season, Ponto said he plans on continuing his hockey journey after high school, possibly with a team like the Stampede.
“After I graduate I will most likely go on to play Juniors somewhere,” he said. “I would love to take the offers I have for football, but my heart is in hockey and I need to keep going with it. My mom and dad have supported every decision I have made in the process. I will be doing lots of camps, tryouts, and showcases this summer.”