Coach: Aidan Gilligan (1st year)
Last year: 0-15
Key returnees: Jacob Malicky, Jr.; Kyle Smith, Sr.; Andrew Joyner, Sr.; Aaron Norton, Sr.; Andrew Wells, Sr.; Peter Lovejoy, Jr.; Sam Riva, So..
Gilligan had 18 skaters on the ice at Berkshire School in the season's first week, which undoubtedly made his introduction to coaching easier. He's no stranger to the Eagles program, though; Gilligan was a defenseman at Mount Everett in the program's inception, graduating in 2002.
He returns to a county hockey landscape much smaller than the one he left a decade ago - when he played, the Hennessy League still existed, and with six teams - and that in itself presents challenges. The Eagles will pick up more Connecticut and Pioneer Valley games in a 19-game schedule this winter.
The new coach is still getting to know his charges, but likes what he's seen on the ice so far this winter.
"The team found themselves in some close games last year, and hopefully this season, we can take the step to finish those games," Gilligan said in an email. "The energy level in practice has been excellent so far this season, and the players are eager to prove themselves."
The Mount Everett roster draws from not only its own school, but also Lee and Monument Mountain high schools. Jacob Malicky, the team's leading scorer last season and an All-Eagle selection, returns as part of an eight-person junior class. Kyle Smith, Andrew Joyner, Aaron Norton and Andrew Wells return as seniors.
Gilligan said it's the juniors and seniors who will set the tone this winter.
Sam Riva and Jonah Swotes are both seeing plenty of time in net during practices. Both are sophomores and will likely face tough tests both inside and outside the county.