Actions Speak Louder than Seniority

Junior Captains Lead Hockey Team


Dave Allen

"Everybody can be a captain." - Torey Levesque '17

Taylor Fletcher and Sydney Craig

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Three high school juniors must lead this year’s varsity hockey team under the watchful eye of the seniors who wish to take their place. “We had to lead our team as sophomores – it’s a lot of pressure,” said junior captain Torey Levesque as he thinks back on his sophomore year as an assistant captain. The PIHS varsity hockey team has no senior captains this year, nor did they last year, for that matter. Last year, three sophomores led the team as assistant captains, and this year the same three have returned with Levesque stepping up to be captain.

Levesque leads the team with his “best buds,” juniors Riley Kinney and Thomas Patenaude. “It’s a great experience,” said assistant captain Riley Kinney. “Trying to run a lot of the senior boys is kinda hectic,” added assistant captain Thomas Patenaude, referring to the four seniors on the team.

Coach Carl Flynn has a rule that anyone who has been removed from the team cannot be a captain in the following years. “I have never had a captain in my thirteen years coaching this team that had been previously removed,” added Flynn. “Captains are the face of our team to the public and need to be above reproach.”

If students who have been removed from the team come back and play a leadership role, “It sets a bad image to the little kids, and makes hockey look like it’s going a bad way,” mentioned Levesque. “Many young kids look up to them,” added sophomore Conor Demerchant. “They have led us all through youth hockey and now into high school.”

For some of the seniors it’s hard that someone a grade below them with less experience on the ice wears the C on his jersey. “They do what they can do,” says senior Devin Ireland. “The captains are whatever,” added senior Eric Benson.

“I think our seniors understand why the juniors are who they are, I hope they have learned a valuable lesson, that there can be long term ramifications for every decision we make in life,” concluded Flynn.

“Being on the PIHS varsity hockey team is great,” said freshman Landyn Newlands. “The captains are amazing.” Newlands doesn’t have an issue with juniors being captains because he hasn’t known it to be any different as this is his first year and he’s never dealt with a senior captain. “They always have our teams’ back; whenever there is a wrong call they are always there to get the full story from the refs,” Newlands added.

“They handle our team perfectly.  Even though they aren’t seniors, they’re still the team’s leaders,” said Demerchant.

Levesque discussed the roles and responsibilities of the captain: having to deal with the refs, keeping the game positive on the ice, dealing with the coach and what the coach wants done for plays. “It’s mostly a lot of motivating so that we can have a good game, especially if we’re losing,” said Levesque.

“I think they realize captain’s just a letter,” Levesque echoed Benson’s opinion, “It’s just a letter and doesn’t mean anything.” Levesque explained that anyone on the team can play a leadership role. It doesn’t just have to be someone who is the designated ‘captain.’  Anybody can lead the team, either with a little extra coaching or advice or just keeping spirits up on the ice.

“All the seniors help with staying positive,” Benson mentioned about his part in leading the team as a senior.

“They can be a captain, just without the letter. Everybody can have qualities of a captain,” concluded Levesque.