Berkshire County ice hockey preview capsules, 2018-19
While the Hennessey League is definitely a thing of the past now, there are three hockey teams still playing in Berkshire County, split between two different divisions. The Drury and Mount Everett programs are in the Faye Division in Western Mass., while Wahconah is in the Wright division. The teams are all co-ops, with each representing a different region of the county. Drury houses Mount Greylock, Hoosac Valley and McCann Tech, while Wahconah hosts Pittsfield and Taconic, and Mount Everett encompasses South County schools Lee, Lenox and Monument Mountain. Improvement will be the key word for each program this winter, as none of the programs made the Western Mass. 3A tournament a year ago.
Coach: Keith Ellingwood, 2nd year
Last season: 4-12-3
Key returnees: Mitch Andrews, Sr.; Corbin Rumbolt, Sr; Corey Callander, Sr.; Omar Uqdah, Soph.
Outlook: The Blue Devils have a solid mix of veterans returning and underclassmen for the future, although the upperclassmen will want to win now. Corey Callander returns in goal to provide a veteran backstop, and Callander will have returners like Toby Ellingwood and Jason Delisle in front of him as defensemen. Mitch Andrews and Corbin Rumbolt are two veteran forwards on the team, while sophomore Omar Uqdah has already shown a penchant for scoring points this season, netting a pair of assists in the team's opening tie with Wahconah.
Coach: Aidan Gilligan, sixth year
Last season: 4-13-3
Key returnees: Max Joyner, Sr.; Dylan Boomsma, Soph.; Jack Seward-Dailey, Jr.; Caleb Kollmer, Jr.
Outlook: The Eagles lost The Berkshire Eagle MVP Jake Corcoran to graduation, but that wasn't the lone hit for Gilligan and his squad. This current group of Eagles will have to make up a lot of scoring from graduation, and it will start with the returning Dylan Boomsma and Grayson Duval. Jack Seward-Dailey returns in goal with valuable experience, as does Cole Duval behind him. Caleb Kollmer and Max Joyner bring experience back on defense, and Carly Duval and Matt Seward are returning point-scorers on the forward line.
Coach: Matt Risley, first year
Last season: 0-19-1
Key returnees: Ryan LaPierre, Jr.; Hunter LaBrode, Sr.; Aidan Kotski, Sr.; Connor Champoux, Sr.
Outlook: The Warriors co-op is back for its second year under the current alignment of Wahconah-Pittsfield-Taconic, and this year's group is determined to show last year was a blip in the radar. New coach Matt Risley said that his team will have to use its collective might instead of focusing on a star player to carry the burden. Ryan LaPierre, Aidan Kotski and Connor Champoux will captain the team, with LaPierre and Champoux as defensemen and Kotski as a top-line center. Hunter LaBrode returns with some scoring punch, and Quinn Kearns and Jake Risley give Coach Risley two options in goal. Names like Mason Alfonso, Mike Cullet, Corey Bazonski and Ryan Polastri all bring experience back for the Warriors this season.
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