Badger’s talent and leadership uplift hockey team



Sophomore Grayson Badger plays hockey throughout the entire year with the Cape Cod Whalers. He was recently named the fourth captain on the high school’s boys hockey team for his leadership skills and ability to motivate the team.

His efforts and skill reflect one thing: don’t puck with Grayson Badger.

Badger personifies the energy and leadership that serves as the foundation for the Brookline boys varsity hockey team.

Badger began skating at two years old and developed an interest in hockey at age five. As Badger grew older, his love for the sport intensified. He now plays hockey year-round for the Cape Cod Whalers, a club team based in Foxborough that recently won the state championship. In April they will compete for a national championship.

This past summer, Badger tried out for the U.S. National Team.

“It was a really cool experience. I got to play against the best kids in the country. To really see what I need to work on was great and being able to do things over the summer to try and help me get better was something I’ll never forget,” Badger said.

In addition to his individual accomplishments, those around him say that Badger is an excellent team player and a leader on and off the ice.

Fellow captain, teammate and friend senior Colin Finnegan says his modesty cannot go unnoticed.

“Grayson has the kind of talent that makes all the kids around him better,” Finnegan said. “He understands his role as a goal scorer and as the most skilled player on the ice, but he is quick to blame himself for small team mistakes and quick to credit others for his own successes.”

Coach Mike Yanovtich, who has been a coach for a total of 20 years and coached at the high school for five, says Grayson’s skill reaches farther than just what people see on the ice.

“Obviously Grayson is an unbelievable hockey player, but people look to him for leadership and when things aren’t going right, they look to him to pull them along. So that’s something you look at, the younger players, what happens when he comes in the room and what happens when he’s playing well on the ice,” Yanovtich said. “When you see other players coming along behind him or reacting to what he does, that’s how you can tell he’s a leader.”

Although Badger is only a sophomore, Yanovtich placed Badger as their 4th captain. Fellow captain and junior Ellis Vish noticed Badger’s work ethic and positive influence on the team.

“He was born a natural athlete, with quick feet and quick hands. It all came to him naturally,” Vish said. “The kid’s got high energy, always focused, works 100 percent all the time. He’s a good kid. I’m happy to be his friend.”

Although hockey itself has proven to be a source of happiness for Badger, he also values the friendships that he has formed along the way.

“We do everything together. Last night we had a team dinner,” Badger said, “Just being able to create bonds and memories that will last a lifetime is the most important part of hockey for me.”