As fall sports come to a close, Hanover’s boys hockey team is already thinking winter, planning for another successful season. After winning the state championship last year, the stakes are high but the team is ready to compete for another title.
The class of 2016 graduated 11 varsity hockey players so this year’s seniors are stepping up and preparing the rest of the team for a big season. “I think we have a lot of potential to be a good team this year,” said Junior Captain Connor Morris. “We lost a lot of good players so there are a lot of spots available. It’s going to be very competitive and everyone is going to be working hard on and off the ice. It’s going to be different than last year but I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”
The team has been hitting the ice bright and early for morning captains’ practices in the last couple of weeks. They also have held team workouts in the weight room. “Half the battle of becoming a good team is being in shape, so we take care of it in the preseason and go into the season ready to play full games,” said senior Ryan Mahoney. This year’s team has a very talented group of upperclassmen and the underclassmen are working hard to keep up.
Senior Captain Ryan Phillips is a little sentimental about his last year playing hockey for Hanover. “We’ve had a lot of good runs the last few years that I’ve been on the team,” he said. “Although (next year) I’m going to miss playing with the boys I’ve been with since I was little, I look forward to ending it on a good note and hopefully becoming state champs one last time.”
Winter sports are set to start the week after Thanksgiving. I’m sure the fans are just as ready as the players and are excited to take the trip to Gallo to support the boys on their run at the Garden.