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Team Preview: Boy’s Varsity Hockey

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The challenge of any varsity team is to adapt as players graduate, encourage returning players to step up, and welcome new students onto the team. Boys varsity hockey graduated excellent players last year, but has also welcomed seven new faces onto the ice this year.

Both coaches and captains have acknowledged the team has changed significantly since last winter. Assistant coach Timothy LeRoy said, “We lost a couple of high impact players, but are returning several talented guys that will be playing important roles on the team this winter.” Captains Cam Schmitt ’18 and Tyler Forbes ’18 are confident in their new team dynamic.

Tyler said, “Last year’s seniors were more skill-oriented versus team-oriented, and it killed a lot of our chemistry….There are so many kids now more willing to do it for the team.”

Key positions vacated by seniors have been filled as new students are fitting in and returning students are stepping up. Head coach William Riley said, “I’m always amazed at how much our team improves each year. This is largely because our guys take the offseason training seriously… They focus on strength and conditioning, which is imperative if they want to play after they graduate.”

Brandon Slawaska ‘19 and Will Torriani ‘19, both new fifth formers, have already begun leaving their marks on the ice as a defenseman and forward, respectively. Likewise, Drew Burke ‘19 and Dan Herdiech ‘18 were made assistant captains to make leadership and communication in the team stronger and honor their longtime skill and commitment to the team. Tyler said, “They’ve been great assets to our team.”

During their preseason tournament, the team worked on bonding and “getting in game shape.” Drew and Dan said, “Our preseason tournament was a good learning experience for us and allowed us to get used to playing with each other.” Competing at the annual St. Paul’s Jamboree last weekend, boys varsity hockey scrimmaged some of the best teams in New England, including Tabor Academy, Taft School, and St. Paul’s School. Though they ultimately lost their scrimmage against Taft, Cam said he is most proud of that game, saying that they battled through every period and forced an overtime.

After three scrimmages, boys varsity hockey opened their season with a 6-2 victory against North Yarmouth Academy. Elated at their victorious debut, the team is excited for the rest of the season. Cam said they are aiming for the ISL championship, but that the team will “take it game by game. We’re not really focused on getting there, but day by day.” Mr. LeRoy echoed the captains’ confidence, saying, “Players have stepped up both on and off the ice this fall. There’s a solid group of older returning players – as well as many new faces on the ice. We’re going to be a competitive and tough group to play against.”

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