Q & A: Girls Hockey


Photo courtesy of Varsity Vantage

2019-20 girls varsity hockey team

After a 6-14 record last season, the girls ice hockey team and seniors Mary Beke and Annabella Buontempo are ready to bounce back. Both have been playing hockey for the high school since their freshman year and are looking to make an impact on their team this upcoming season.

When did you first start playing hockey, and what inspired you to start playing?

MB: I started playing hockey in 2nd grade; my brother inspired me to play.
AB: I started playing hockey my freshman year. My brother played hockey his whole life and my mom was a huge fan so I grew up knowing how to skate and knowing the game itself. When I heard the high school made a girls team my eighth-grade year, I knew I wanted to join.

Do you have any special rituals that you do to prepare for games?

MB: I listen to music on the bus to get pumped for the game.
AB: When we have games, right after warmups, the entire team comes into a circle in front of the net and the captains make a speech and then we all raise our sticks and slam them on the ice to get us hyped up before we start. This has been such an important game ritual since my freshman year.

What has been your favorite memory from playing WHS hockey?

MB: My favorite memory has to be the friends I’ve made playing hockey. We all have a special bond. AB: During my junior year there were seniors graduating. These seniors had been basically the entire team since my freshman year so after our last playoff game, everyone was crying and hugging each other because we had become so close over the past three years and it was heartbreaking to see them go.

How has the preparation for this year’s season differed from previous years?

MB: This year has been very different than previous years. We usually have psych parties, dinners and other team bonding events. We have not been able to do that this year because of COVID-19. AB: Unfortunately we got very little time to pre- pare for this season because of how strict COV- ID-19 protocol is. Finding places to workout with enough space to socially distance 40 girls was a very big struggle.

How do you feel about the COVID-19 guidelines for winter sports?

MB: I think that the guidelines are fine. We’re all happy just to have the opportunity to play.

AB: Personally, I think some rules are unnecessary. For example, we can’t bring our hockey bags into the rink and this makes the entire process so much harder because we have to get changed in the parking lot. The locker rooms always [made for] some of the best memories and, unfortunately, we can’t use them this year.

What are you doing to keep your team safe from COVID-19 this season?

MB: Other than no team bonding events, there are no carpools and we wear masks off the ice. 

AB: This season masks are optional to wear on the ice but right up until you put your helmet on you have to be wearing a mask. We also cannot carpool with anyone and when we sit and put our skates on, we have to social distance. 

What are your goals for this season?

MB: My goal for this season is that everyone has fun and we’re able to have our team banquet. 

AB: My goal for the season is to not get shut down again and get as many practices and games in as possible because we lost so much time before the season started.