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North Shore Storm girls coaching staff resigns

For the second time in just a few years, the North Shore Storm girls' hockey team is looking for a new coach.

In fact, the team, which is a cooperative between Two Harbors High School, William Kelley Schools and Cook County High School, is looking with for an entirely new coaching staff after head coach Brian Entzion and assistants Biz Huss and Boyd Hanson all resigned their positions.

The resignations were accepted by the Lake Superior School District Board during its May 9 meeting in Silver Bay. Entzion and Huss both declined to be interviewed for this article, but Entzion's letter of resignation to WKS activities director Kelly Ollila detailed three main reasons for his resignation. First, Entzion said parents were allowed to bypass coaches with complaints or concerns and undermine the coach and the program.

"Additionally, providing anonymity to the source of this scourge encourages and emboldens those entitled few," Entzion wrote to the board. "This methodology encourages a seditious culture which slowly undermines the coach and program."

LSSD superintendent Bill Crandall said many times the transition from junior hockey leagues to high school hockey can be difficult for many players and their parents. Often, parents are intimately involved in the youth hockey leagues like the Blue Line Club in Silver Bay and the Two Harbors Youth Hockey Association, many times serving as coaches for their children's team from their earliest hockey experiences at the mite level all the way through eighth grade and even beyond with summer leagues and other association teams. In addition, once at the high school level students aren't guaranteed a minimum of playing time.

Crandall said the key to easing the transition was "good, solid, open communication" with parents and the School Board was very open with Entzion when he was hired about the need.

Entzion also claimed he was accused of malfeasance and misuse of team funds that were "brought to the district superintendent without any vetting of the validity of the claims nor having the propriety to address concerns with me first."

Crandall said allegations like those Entzion described were made, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Finally, Entzion said in a meeting with a player and parent, the player was allowed to "wander off topic and become emotional" while assessing Entzion's coaching and the player was later commended by the administration for her conduct.

In its second coaching search in the past few years and third since the teams combined five years ago, the North Shore program will continue its philosophy of choosing a coach that will give students an opportunity to play as well as emphasizing "sportsmanship and camaraderie of being in a team situation," according to Crandall, who was once a skiing and soccer coach at the high school level.

A successful program, Crandall said, isn't about winning section championships but about the opportunity to play and develop a passion for a sport.

"You're out there for the kids, to share your passion for the sport with the kids," he said. "You're out there for the well being of the players and putting your effort and knowledge out there for the kids to grow in the sport and give them that opportunity to positively develop and really we're focused on the whole student athlete and not just the athlete."

At the time he submitted his resignation letter, Entzion said he still had some equipment and uniforms in his possession, but Crandall said the former coach had already worked out the equipment return with North Shore boys coach and Silver Bay arena manager Mike Guzzo.

The North Shore Storm girls finished 5-18-1 last season.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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