Northern Star: Darian Gotz
For this week's segment, we feature the captain of the Hermantown hockey team.
HERMANTOWN, Minn. -With talent up and down the lines, the Hermantown boys hockey team is once again one of the top powerhouses in the state.
But with so much talent, a trusty captain is needed, and that’s what they have in senior Darian Gotz.
“He’s our leader, hands down. And it’s not because he’s the rah-rah guy in the locker room. He doesn’t run his mouth. He just totally leads by example. And he works so hard and does everything the right way that no one wants to disappoint him and it forces everybody around him, they want to live up to that expectation. So he makes everyone around him better and I think that’s a great sign of a leader if you can make people around you better people, and Darian does that,” head coach Patrick Andrews said.
Gotz has been part of the team for the past three years and recognizes the importance and tradition of the program.
“You grow up in this town and it’s just so hockey–based, everyone loves you in the community. There’s nothing like it in the state, I feel like there’s not a community like Hermantown just the work we have to put in on the outdoor rinks just to be able to wear the Hermantown sweaters is unbelievable. Every day we always kind of look at practice to the banners, it’s unbelievable what this program has accomplished. You just hope to build onto that legacy.” Gotz said.
Going into section playoffs, Gotz had seven goals and 15 assists during the regular season. While the defenseman is putting in the work during games, what he’s doing during practice stands out more to the team.
“There’s our captain and he’s working his butt off. And there’s Darian picking up pucks, there’s Darian picking up nets, there’s Darian doing all the little things, and that’s contagious. Those little things are contagious when you see your senior captain doing the little things, it’s contagious in the locker room and everyone feeds off of it,” Andrews said.
While Gotz and the Hawks are busy preparing for the postseason, the senior is looking forward to his next step. Gotz committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth, becoming one of just many current and former Hawks to move up to the Bulldogs.
“I was D-partners with Dylan and was out there with him when he scored the championship winning goal, I was out there with Jesse and then skating with Cole every summer, they’re just great guys and it’s just awesome to think of the future we could have together,” Gotz said.
“The fact that we had a lot of Hawks go on to be Bulldogs and not just play, but play very well on a huge stage and win national championships and be captains, I think it speaks very highly to the types of kids and character of kids that we’re putting out at Hermantown,” Andrews added.
But before Gotz hangs up the Hermantown sweater and looks to his future team, he’s enjoying his remaining time with this special program.
“It’s been a lot of fun, that’s our motto this year, we just have fun and this is a great group of guys, we bonded really well at the beginning so it’s just really fun to come to the rink every day. Just having fun here, this arena is unbelievable, there’s no better place to play hockey in the state,” Gotz said.