Greenway Hockey Returns Home

Ten years ago the team almost folded but thanks to dedicated coaches, alumni, and players the team was built back up.

COLERAINE, Minn. – The Greenway boys hockey team returned to Coleraine after a Cinderella-like state championship runner-up finish in Class A hockey.

Greenway hockey is a team made up of small towns on the Iron Range.

Ten years ago the team almost folded but thanks to dedicated coaches, alumni, and players the team was built back up.

After a second place finish at states it was time to celebrate.

Senior co-captain Donte Lawson won the prestigious Herb Brooks award at the tournament.

He’s at a loss for words about his team’s run.

“Actually there’s probably no words for it to be honest with you but especially going to the state tournament and playing as far as we could going to the final game, it was a bummer losing but playing with my best friends and with the community behind us it’s special,” said Donte Lawson.

Among those at the celebration included former Greenway coach whose grandson now plays on the team.

He credits the community for the team’s success.

“It’s just the pride of the people here, we’ve had our ups and downs but things like competing against our neighbor Grand Rapids and Hibbing and the Duluth teams and that it just makes you better and I thinks that’s what makes the team so good,” said Bob Gernander, a retired Greenway hockey coach and grandfather.

The homecoming for Greenway featured hundreds of fans from around the region all wearing their school apparel.

“The support is unreal everyone is on board we’re small towns built up to make Greenway and everyone is literally on board with Greenway,” said Adam Johnson, the assistant coach of Greenway hockey.

Even though they fell just short of winning the championship the runner up finish was most definitely a huge accomplishment.

“We are just so proud, I don’t believe we lost out there, we won a lot of followers and these kids walked away very proud with their heads up,” said Gernander.

The people in Greenway stressed to me that this is a new beginning for the team to put the difficult past behind them and use this team as a new model for years to come.