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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off their first Super Eight berth in program history, the Walpole High School boys varsity hockey team churned out a 12-5-5 record in 2017-2018, earning themselves the No. 5 seed in Division I South. Unfortunately, the Rebels were taken out in the first round by eventual DI South runner-up and No. 12 Braintree (3-1). Despite the tough ending to last season, the Walpole boys enter 2018-2019 full of confidence and hold the hopes of making a long postseason run later on this winter.
“We obviously want to make the tournament and make a deep run,” said senior defenseman Patrick Colburn when asked about his team’s general goals for the upcoming season. “We also want to win the league title.”
Right wing Conor Foley and right wing Ryan Boyajian will serve as Walpole High’s duo of senior captains this season, both of whom will serve top-six forward roles and play critical minutes on the power play. Colburn agrees that the two senior captains are poised for a monster year offensively, along with senior Danny Savary and sophomore Kevin McElaney.
“[Conor] Foley, [Ryan] Boyajian, Danny Savery, and Kevin McElaney have all be grinding this offseason,” said Colburn. “Everyone thinks they’ll all have big years for us on offense.”
As for replacing last season’s core of seniors, such as Patrick’s brother, Robert, who now plays lacrosse at Franklin Pierce, Colburn says he and his teammates are ready to take on expanded roles and compete for the conference championship.
“We will miss them this season,” said Colburn. “But I feel like we have a good core of guys returning, and all the newer faces we have on the team all seem hungry to make an impact.”
Walpole will begin their quest back to the state tournament on December 12 against Mansfield at Foxboro Sports Center.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.