This year, the Jagers of Madison proved an old adage: They’re a family that stays together to play together.
What they play together is high school girls hockey, for the Sun Prairie Cap City Cougars. Zephryn Jager is a junior forward, Jenna Jager is a senior goaltender and Mike Jager is an assistant coach with the Sun Prairie-based co-operative team.
How they stay together is by making the daily trip from Madison La Follette, where Zephryn and Jenna are students, to the Ice Pond of Waunakee, where the Cougars usually practice. Game nights — especially road game nights — mean even more time together for the Jagers and their teammates.
Over the regular season, Zephryn Jager scored 10 goals and added 20 assists for 30 points, including two game-winning goals. She then helped the Cap City Cougars earn a repeat berth in the WIAA state tournament, scoring an overtime goal to give her team a 5-4 victory over the Onalaska co-op in the sectional final — the team’s eighth victory in 10 games.
As a result, Zephryn Jager has been named the 2019 Wisconsin State Journal All-Area Player of the Year.
“It definitely helps me manage my time better,” Jager said of the family’s extended travel times during a regular-season interview. “It keeps me motivated because I know I have to stick to my schedule to get everything done and be present here at practice as well.”
“The Jager family does a really nice job of leaving the family drama at the ice rink door,” Cap City Cougars coach Jeff Thornton said. “When they are at the rink, they are teammates, players and coaches.”
After beating Middleton and Onalaska co-ops to make state, the Jagers and the rest of the Cap City Cougars fell to the Appleton Xavier co-op, the Fox Cities Stars, in the semifinals at state. That capped a 14-8-3 season for the Cougars that included a runner-up finish in the Badger Conference.
Coach of the Year: Luke Steurer, the first-year coach of the Beloit Memorial co-op known as the Rock County Fury, took an experienced and large group and directed it to the Badger Conference championship with an 8-0-2 record.
The Rock County Fury went 13-9-2 overall, suffering a 4-3 loss in a sectional semifinal to the same Onalaska co-op that Sun Prairie edged in overtime in the sectional final. For most of the season, the Fury hung around in the WisconsinPrepHockey.net state rankings.
And the Fury placed three players on the all-Badger Conference first team and had five players honored overall.
As a result, Steurer has been named the State Journal Coach of the Year for the 2018-2019 season.
WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
2018-2019 ALL-AREA TEAM
Anika Einbeck, so., F, Beloit Memorial co-op. Totaled 32 points, on 21 goals and 11 assists, for the Badger Conference champion Fury. Named first-team all-Badger Conference.
Zephryn Jager, jr., F, Sun Prairie co-op. Led the WIAA state semifinal qualifiers with 30 points, on 10 goals and 20 assists. An all-Badger Conference first-team pick for the league runner-up Cap City Cougars.
Alyssa Knauf, so., F, Beloit Memorial co-op. Led the Rock County Fury in scoring with 33 points with 15 goals and 17 assists during the regular season. Named first-team all-Badger Conference.
Cammi Ganshert, sr., D, Beloit Memorial co-op. Led the Rock County Fury to the Badger Conference championship, scoring two goals and adding eight assists while helping the Fury hold opponents to 52 regular-season goals. Named to the all-Badger Conference first team.
Mackenzie Rosin, jr., D, Sun Prairie co-op. Scored 15 points on eight goals and seven assists for the Cap City Cougars. Contributed to a defense that allowed 2.4 goals per game and earned all-Badger first-team honors.
Gwen Parker, sr., G, Middleton co-op. Allowed 2.25 goals per game on a .939 save percentage. Was named to the all-Badger Conference second team.
Haley Knauf, jr., F, Beloit Memorial
Sierra Berg, sr., F, Middleton co-op
Lizzie Patton, jr., D, Baraboo co-op
Megan Biesmann, sr., D, Middleton co-op
Amanda Bauer, so., G, Sun Prairie co-op
Olivia Cronin, fr., Beloit Memorial co-op
Hallie Hefel, so., Stoughton co-op
Jenna Jager, sr., Sun Prairie co-op
Camryn McKersie, fr., Middleton co-op
Haley Meskin, sr., Middleton co-op
Paige Nelson, jr., Stoughton co-op