Anybody involved in high school sub-varsity sports will tell you that the vital jobs of junior varsity contingents are to give young athletes important playing time at the high school level, further hone their athletic skills, and enable them to have fun while also hopefully deepening their love for the sport they’re playing.
In the big picture, wins and losses are of secondary importance until athletes reach the varsity level, and the work they do on the junior varsity and freshman levels pushes a great many youngsters toward their goal of playing varsity sports.
So although coach Brittany Skudder’s Londonderry High School junior varsity boys’ ice hockey squad didn’t do as much winning as it either hoped or expected to this winter, the young Lancers got plenty of work done during the 2015-16 campaign nonetheless.
Skudder’s squad only won one of its 11 contests, but that victory had an exclamation mark next to it as it was a 19-3 hammering of the Manchester West High Blue Knights. But despite the fact that her Lancers only managed that one victory, the LHS mentor had no qualms about the growth and effort her charges exhibited during the 2015-16 campaign.
“Although the record doesn’t show, this group improved every week and it was great to watch them develop. They were all very coach-able and it was a fun season,” said Skudder.
The LHS junior varsity contingent had at least one member of every one of the four present graduating classes at Londonderry High on its roster, with veteran sub-varsity skater and defenseman Elise Isaak being the lone 12th grader.
Isaak was recognized along with the Lancer varsity hockey team’s four graduating seniors on Senior Night at the Salem Icenter, and she got the chance to play late in that last varsity regular season game against the Salem High School Blue Devils.
The Lancer junior varsity hockey team’s juniors included goalies Brian Tausky and Danielle Ziv and forward Billy Croteau, the sophomores were forwards Graydon Geraghty, Matt Maheras, Taylor Rose, Ben Henson, and Aiden Crowley, and the freshmen included forwards Pat Cohen and Sean Mullholland and defensemen Matt Naso, Josh Morin, and Oliver Preston.
The LHS 2015-16 varsity hockey squad will lose seniors Jax Theriault, Colby Austin, Andrew Morrissette, and Nick Donnelly to graduation this spring. Austin and Donnelly were co-captains. So there will be roster spots to fill on the Lancers’ 2016-17 contingent later this year.