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Holt Conference Preview: League welcomes five new coaches

Many new faces and an upgraded schedule is what’s happening at Berwick (5-23-0), where second-year coach Jeoff Jarnot is expecting his club to play in a lot of close games this winter.

Byron Welch Berwick

Byron Welch

Jackson Sidford Berwick

Jackson Sidford

Jack Merecki Berwick

Jack Merecki

Greg Stohrer Berwick

Greg Stohrer

Four solid holdovers at forward will lead the way offensively for the Bulldogs in seniors Derek Muse (19 pts) and Byron Welch (17 pts) and the junior duo of Jackson Sidford (21 pts) and Jack Merecki (15 pts). New junior Greg Stohrer should pay immediate dividends, while freshman Jack Williams hopes to crack the lineup.

Three new defensemen who should have an impact are junior Tanner Derby and freshmen Zander Lizotte and Connor Derby.

Ryan Bailey takes over the head coaching position at Hoosac (10-15-1) and feels this year’s team is much deeper than last year’s Holt Conference champions.

Senior captain Andrew Lusignan will lead the Owls offensive attack, along with senior William Daniel and junior William Daniel. Senior Dannick Breton is back as well. Post-grad Cullen Gustaffson provides sound depth.

The Owls return three solid defensemen in seniors Felix Anctil and Benjamin Viens, and junior Frank Filatto. New junior Max Georgievsky will be a plus.

New senior Mathieu Beaudet will fight for time in the Hoosac net.

Kingswood Oxford (8-12-0) will be very young, and coach Ben Adams says his team will have to mature quickly and raise its compete level.

Senior forward Drew Nemirow will a a catalyst offensively for the Wyverns, while keys on defense project to be junior Colin Regan and sophomore Jack Gao.

Second-year head coach Steve King is hoping his Moses Brown (5-20-1) squad can continue its upward trend this winter. A big plus is the team only lost two players to graduation.

A pair of juniors – Jake Studley (21 pts) and Matthew Grover (10 pts) – will spearhead things offensively for the Quakers. A couple of freshmen to watch up front will be Gunnarwolfe Fontaine and Tyler King.

Senior co-captains Rob Lombardi and Brian Greene take care of things in the defensive zone. New sophomore Corey Olson will have an impact.

In the nets, junior Connor Bitterman projects to be the #1 guy. Junior Hunter Gervais is in the mix as well.

There is new leadership at North Yarmouth Academy (19-11-1) where Tyler Walsh takes over the head coaching reins. He is looking forward to his first season behind the bench for the Panthers.

The Panthers should be able to score, with senior Andrew Keith (45 pts), senior Hunter Mahoney (18 pts) and sophomore Finn Murray (19 pts) all back in the fold. Freshman Reese Farrell wlll look to contribute right away.

Finn Murray NYA

Finn Murray

Sam Johnson NYA

Sam Johnson

Andrew Keith NYA

Andrew Keith

Jeremy Thelven NYA

Jeremy Thelven

Hunter Mahoney NYA

Hunter Mahoney

On the blue line, veteran seniors Sam Johnson and Dana Nichols will log key minutes. New junior Evan Larson will be a welcome addition on defense.

In goal, senior Jeremy Thelven was a workhorse last winter for NYA and is ready to have another big year.

Another Holt Conference team with a new coach is Pingree (10-20-0) where assistant Chris Connolly moves up to the top spot behind the bench. The Highlanders will be young with only two seniors on the squad.

Kyle Emery Pingree

Kyle Emery

Zach Mitchell Pingree

Zach Mitchell

Christian Dimeglio Pingree

Christian Dimeglio

One is senior captain Zack Mitchell (16 pts) who will lead the offensive attack. Junior Sean O’Connell (15 pts) and sophomore Connor Sweeney (20 pts) will have key roles as well. Junior Brendan Parent and freshman Christian Dimeglio should fit in somewhere.

A defensive leader for Pingree will be junior Kyle Emery.

In goal, senior Matt Suny returns. A new goalie to the program is freshman Shea Grant.

Dom Cappadona Portsmouth Abbey

Dom Cappadonna
Portsmouth Abbey

Depth could be an issue at Portsmouth Abbey (7-20-2), where success will be dictated by the leadership of the upperclassmen.

Senior quad-captains Dom Cappadonna and Matt Plumb headline the offensive attack for coach Allie Skelley. Junior Dan Sliney, also a captain, will be involved heavily as well. Sophomore Jacob Tivey is a returning forward as well. Freshman Dean Simeone looks to contribute.

Defense will be young with sophomore Curtis Birthwright the Ravens’s most experienced rearguard. Two freshmen – Luke O’Reilly and Josh Plumb – could see quality minutes.

Senior quad-captain Bailey Strangis is a returning starter in goal. New junior Jake Horoho will push for time.

New head coach Brett Farson is looking for solid leadership from the senior class and key returning juniors as he heads into his first season at Rye Country Day (4-16-0).

Jesse LeFebvre Rye Country Day

Jesse LeFebvre
Rye Country Day

Will Dodge Rye Country Day

Will Dodge
Rye Country Day

Frank Tedeschi Rye Country Day

Frank Tedeschi
Rye Country Day

Eddie Massaro Rye Country Day

Eddie Massaro
Rye Country Day

Senior Jesse LeFebvre and junior Will Dodge will spearhead the offense for the Wildcats. Freshman Jake Oddi hopes to cash in his chances.

Rye’s defense will have some depth. Seniors Frank Tedeschi and Alex Berger will be cornerstones, while a large group of new rearguards looking to crack the roster includes freshmen Chris Brown, Zach Hiken, Shane Holmes, James Lambert, Will Massaro and Brian Yang.

Shane O'Halloran Worcester Academy

Shane O’Halloran
Worcester Academy

Two varsity goaltenders return for the Wildcats in senior Eddie Massaro and junior Ed Abrams.

Worcester Academy (6-14-2) also has a new coach, as Bob Lavin, who coached high school hockey in the area the last several years, takes over. The Hilltoppers are excited to be moving into a new rink in Worcester starting with the 2017-2018 season.

Up front, senior Joe Ripa (15 pts), junior Mitchell Pelletier (13 pts) and sophomore Jake Hughes (13 pts) will be leaders. New senior Jack Waldman will show what he can do, while freshman Rory White is ready to go. New junior Patrick Lavin can play at forward or defense.

Post-grad Shane O’Halloran will be a cornerstone on defense for the Hilltoppers. Senior Olof Djurberg returns in goal and will be joined by junior Nathan Pickett in the goalie rotation.

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.
Gary Demopoulos
- 3 days ago
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