TAYLOR, Mich. — Andie Anastos is a busy teenager. First of all there is school. She is close to graduating from Lady Wood High School in Livonia, which means final exams are near as well as lots of preparation as the big and final day draws near. There is also a social life that includes friends and family and not one but two sports, basketball and hockey.
Through it all, and with proper time management, she manages to find time to do all the things that need to be done.
“Surprisingly I do it just fine,” said Anastos, who’s father is Michigan State’s head hockey coach, Tom Anastos. “We only practice hockey a couple of times a week including Saturday, so it’s only two days a week that I have both basketball and hockey, so it works out perfectly.”
Next year she plans to play only hockey after being offered a full scholarship to attend Boston College. And while she admits that she will miss playing organized basketball, hockey is her first love and a sport that she really excels in.
Anastos scored what proved to be the winning goal in the second period of a 6-2 win over Belle Tire on Sunday to lead HoneyBaked to a 19-and-Under Tier I Michigan state title and a trip to the USA Hockey National Championships in April in San Jose, Calif.
In all Anastos scored five goals and 10 points during the weeklong state championship tournament that was played at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, Mich.
“I received a pass and I skated around by making a move on their defensemen, and with the goaltender in somewhat of a down position I shot high and scored top shelf,” explained Anastos, on the goal that put the team up for good.
HoneyBaked underachieved in the early part of the season but seemed to get better with each passing day. The team was hitting on all cylinders coming into the state title tournament as it rolled through each of its three round-robin games outscoring opponents by a 16-2 count before the decisive victory in the final tilt. Anastos said there was only one team goal from the start.
“We wanted to win a national championship,” said Anastos, who has played with the HoneyBaked organization for the past five years. “We knew what was at stake, and a lot of us are seniors and this is our last year as a group and we want to go out as a winner, and now we have the opportunity to complete the mission.”
HoneyBaked coach Ryan Pardoski marvels about Anastos’s energy.
“In all my years of coaching hockey I have never seen a player like that. She is just so competitive,” Pardoski said with a big smile on his face. “Her will not to lose is just so great. She is going to play college hockey next year and with her focus simply on hockey as opposed to two sports, both talent and potential is going to be through the roof for Andy.”
Sometimes when a player has a parent who has been in hockey throughout their life, expectations and pressure on the child can become a distraction. But Pardoski said that simply is not the case with the Anastos family.
“Her family is very supportive and Andy is too smart to put any kind of pressure on herself,” he said. “She is just a great person and very upbeat in whatever she does.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.