Hockey players remain hopeful

Quick smiles surface on the beaming faces of the varsity hockey players when they talk about their team.

“I think building a close team starts when you’re a freshman and getting included with older kids and being around older kids,” said senior Willie Sutcliff. “You try to continue that, and it builds unity and a team. Playing such a physical sport, you have to depend on each other to back you up.”

Many of these teammates feel like brothers.

Being so tight and getting along well have helped the team succeed this year, said senior John Buckley, a captain.

“The fact that we are all so close keeps us together a lot in the game, too,” said sophomore Jake Paul.

The captains of the team, Buckley and senior Adam Paul, are both extremely dedicated to not only the sport, but to their teammates as well.

“We are definitely role models, not so much to the juniors, but definitely to the freshman,” said Adam Paul. “I know when I was a freshman, all the players were older and better than me, so I tried to emulate them. Kids do what they see you do, not what you tell them to do, so if they see you make a good play they’ll be like, ‘Oh, that was a good play.’ You can tell them to do as much as you want, but they aren’t going to really see it.”

Junior Adam Hryniewicz said this year’s captains help the team.

“Last year, there was kind of a lack of leadership and no one really stepped up,” said Hryniewicz. “This year, we have two great senior captains, and they are really guiding us in the right direction and keeping us focused.”

This team not only sticks together on the ice, but off the ice as well.

“We have varsity dinners, and I think we are scheduling maybe six or seven, so like twice a week,” said sophomore Solomon Foster. “We had one on a Sunday. It was really fun. We watched the Patriots-Broncos game, ate pizza and played knee hockey.”

The team is known for its resilience and work ethic, said Sutcliff.

“They don’t give up, regardless of what the score is. They keep working, and that’s something you can’t teach,” said coach Steve Trundle. “You either work real hard no matter what the result may be or you don’t. This group here, I would call them a workaholic group. That’s the biggest positive I would say about this team.”

Hryniewicz added, “This season, we will continue to dig deep, play well defensively and work hard.”

Tasoula Burk can be contacted at [email protected]