“When I was a young boy, coach Tom Deering took us all off the ponds and into the rink,” said Mitchell. “He started a club team called the Warriors and was a very influential person in my life. My love for the game grew because of him.”
Mitchell is carrying on that tradition. It has been three years since Beverly won the league title, but that could change later this month. Last year’s champion was Peabody and the year before, Marblehead claimed the title.
Beverly’s top line features Anthony D’Amato at left wing, Paul Edson at center and Andrew Mezza on right wing. Preston Nearis centers Ryan Munzing (LW) and Timmy McCarthy (RW). The other line has Conor Hanlon between left wing Steve Hallinan and right wing Patric Cotreau.
Liam Connolly, Shane Cassidy, Andrew Shea, Aaron Carroll and Cooper McNinch are the defensemen. Troy Doyle is the regular goalie with eighth grader Madison Jalbert (who starts for the Beverly/Danvers girls’ varsity team), has played in a handful of games. Another member of the Panther girls varsity squad, high scoring eighth grader Julia Nearis, has also helped out in a few games. Brenden Linehan, Shane Corcoran, and Cole Johnson are team alternates.
What makes this group so special, said Mitchell, is unselfishness and the commitment to play as a team. Edson has always been a defenseman for his club hockey team, but Mitchell moved him to center, which has helped make him a more offensive-minded defenseman.
“The last couple of years we’ve been around .500, but this season we have a great group of eighth graders who have really grown up,” said Mitchell, who is assisted by long-time Beverly hockey coach Peter Shea. “Edson is already 6-feet-2 and plays well with D’Amato. Connolly is a big defenseman, and both Munzing and McCarthy are having outstanding seasons. Doyle is a great little goalie who doesn’t allow many to get by him. Our eighth graders are carrying the team.”