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Ammerman reaches coaching milestone

posted Feb 24, 2019, 1:42 PM by Andrew Tichy
By: Riley Swenson

On January 17th the Moorhead Spuds boys hockey team was set to face their section 8AA rival, St. Michael-Albertville. The same team that knocked off the Spuds last year in the section championship game. Moorhead was looking for revenge, but that wasn’t the only story of the night. Head coach Jon Ammerman was looking for his 100th career win. The Spuds would win that game 5-2. But Ammerman wasn’t looking for the spotlight. “I think it’s more of a credit to our players. This is our 6th year now as a staff and we’ve been really fortunate to have some really good players and that’s turned into success in terms of wins and losses,” said Ammerman.

It’s been a very successful career so far for Ammerman. He knows that not every win means that same and there are some that have special meaning to him. “Our section championship in 2017, that’s one that sticks out for sure. The state semifinal win against Lakeville South was a fun game, so those 2 probably more than others,” said Ammerman.

Over those 6 years of being a coach, Jon isn’t the same guy. As a coach you have to adapt to the game, and Ammerman has. “I’d say I’m a little more patient in letting things play out and allowing the kids to figure out where they stack up. Winning a game in December maybe isn’t as important as allowing kids to be in uncomfortable situations or different situations with the hope that that allows them to be more successful towards the end of the year,” said Ammerman.

But it’s not just the win total that’s important to Ammerman. Although he loves winning, he knows there’s a lot more to his job than that. “Building relationships with kids and pointing out the successes they have. I think that my assistants probably do a better job communicating on the day to day basis, but pointing out to kids when they do something that we’ve been working on and that they’re trying things that are maybe uncomfortable for them. Kinda those little victories within the game,” said Ammerman.

Jon Ammerman loves his job and loves coaching. But he has one goal he’d love to accomplish. “In Moorhead with our hockey team, one goal is to eventually win a state championship, but ultimately right now it’s something I really enjoy to do,” said Ammerman.

The Spuds will play in their 19th consecutive section championship game on Wednesday night in Bemidji against the third-seeded Brainerd Warriors. A win would send the Spuds to State for the second time in three years. They fell in the 2017 championship game to Grand Rapids.