Pictured last season against Westwood, senior center Phil Parker (23) will serve as one of four Medfield High School varsity hockey captains in 2020-2021. Photos by Mike Flanagan.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Medfield High School varsity boys hockey enters the 2020-2021 season looking to make a statement. Unfortunately, the Warriors will only have 10 games to do so with COVID-19 forcing all high school teams to play a condensed, conference-only schedule with no state tournament.
An 11-5-4 regular season in 2019-2020 allotted the Warriors the No. 9 seed in Division II South. Following a 3-0 blanking of Dighton-Rehobeth/Seekonk in the opening round, Medfield's season came to end in the quarterfinals against champion Canton with a 6-2 defeat. With a solid chunk of last season's roster returning, the Warriors enter the 2020-2021 season optimistic that they can make a lot of noise in the TVL.
Leading Medfield this season will be two co-captains and two assistant captains. Senior left winger Sam Palmer and senior centerman Phil Parker will serve as Medfield's captains, while senior right wings Mike Vachon and Chris Lawson will serve as assistant captains. Two other key returners from Medfield's senior class are goaltender Garrison Schilling and defenseman Aidan Parker, who is battling back from a lower body injury.
"Since we only have ten games this season, we’re looking to go undefeated," said Vachon when asked about his team's general goals. "We’re hoping to have a mini-tournament at the end of the season with all the teams we play, and if that happens, obviously we want to win that as well. Even though this is not what we were expecting this season to be like, we are going to make the best out of it."
According to Palmer, two other key names to watch out for are James Tyer and Kevin Arthur - both made varsity and saw time as freshmen.
"They both made the team and contributed last year," said Palmer. "Kevin [Arthur] broke his leg early last season and we are hoping to see a big season out of him now that he is fully recovered."
As far as adjusting to the new rules imposed by the MIAA to combat COVID, such as no locker rooms and having to play with a mask on, Phil Parker and Chris Lawson says their team is adjusting accordingly.
"We’re all still getting used to the new rules imposed by the MIAA, as obviously these are nothing that we have ever seen before," said Parker. "One thing I’m sure nobody is excited about is getting dressed outside, especially since the weather is getting colder. Wearing masks shouldn’t be a problem since everyone is accustomed to the mask, because we have all been playing with them and know what it’s like."
"As much as we all want to play in front of fans, everyone just wants to get out on the ice and play hockey," said Lawson. "I think most of the players, especially the seniors at least, want their parents to go, because it is going to be the last time many of us will be playing competitive hockey."
Medfield will open up its season on January 6 at home against rival Westwood.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.