Matt Lieberman ’16
While the boy’s hockey team fell short of a state tournament bid this season, the class displayed by the players in both victory and defeat did not go unnoticed. On March 17, the team was honored with the James F. Mulloy Sportsmanship Award. The late Mulloy was the varsity ice hockey coach at Dom Savio High School, Malden Catholic High School, and Everett High School. One of Mulloy’s desires was to see that high school boy’s hockey was played in a fair and equitable manner and that sportsmanship was the goal that all players and coaches should keep foremost in their minds. The award is given to teams who exemplify his ideals of sportsmanship on the ice.
Coach Paul Donato and the two captains, forward George Docktor ’13 and defenseman Andrew Volkmann ’13, received the award at the Boston Garden, where the Boston Bruins play. “Being at the Garden was unbelievable. Going on the ice was even better and just added to the experience of winning the award for our program,” said Docktor.
The award is a coveted prize because many teams put a heavy emphasis on sportsmanship “The sportsmanship aspect is how we respect ourselves and all those that we that we interact with as members of the Wellesley High Hockey Program,” said Donato. Parents, coaches, and players involved in high school hockey throughout the state highly respect the award. “It was an award that everyone respected no matter where they were from,” said Volkmann.
The Volkmann feels that the team’s display of sportsmanship helped them to stay focused on the ice. “All year we were never out to injure or hurt the other team. We would just worry about how we were playing and what we were doing,” said Volkmann. The team always respected others both on and off the ice. “We respected the other coaches, players, and also refs, something that other teams struggled to do,” said Docktor. “Every game we were not causing fights or arguing with the refs, we were only playing the game we all love.”
Some opponents may have wanted to start fights after the whistle, but Wellesley stayed focused on putting the puck in the net. “We always stayed out of the little scrums that did not positively affect our team,” said Volkmann. Rather than starting fights, the team focused on playing hockey the right way. “We constantly focus on playing the game the right way with responsibility to each other,” said Donato.”
The team is proud to have won the award. “I feel winning the award was a great accomplishment for our team and also our coaches,” said Docktor. “It’s a major achievement for us and our program.”
This award was given specifically to 2012-2013’s team, but Donato feels that sportsmanship has become habitual for the players over the past few seasons. “The spirit and respect for the game with this year’s team following the tradition of past teams is what led to this fantastic recognition,” he said. “I believe we earned the recognition over the course of the last five years.”