Beverly High athletic director James Coffey wasn’t sure how fortunate he’d be to hire a new girls hockey coach before the season began. It turned out that the Panthers basically hit the lottery.
Brian Seabury took over the team and led it to new heights this winter. Beverly set a school record for victories in a single season (17) and won a state tournament game for just the second time in program history. Beverly began the season on an 18-game unbeaten streak, won the GEMIHL’s Northeast Division and finished up 17-3-2.
The 42-year-old Seabury, who coached boys hockey for 14 years before coaching at Bishop Fenwick for a season then moving to Beverly, brought an up-tempo, north-south style that meshed perfectly with Beverly’s talented roster.
“The team was so competitive and strives to be great each day,” said Seabury, who was assisted by his dad Bill, who won 400 games as Stoneham High baseball coach. “The team had great chemistry and a love for the game.”
Under Seabury’s tutelage, several players set BHS scoring marks this season. Senior Livvy Konaxis broke the school’s all-time scoring record and junior Nicole Woods set a single-season points mark. Beverly’s players routinely said that playing for Seabury helped them learn new things about hockey and that it was some of the most fun they’d ever had playing the game.
Gino Faia knew the history as well as anyone involved with Swampscott High hockey: 44 long years — dating back to February 1969 — was the playoff drought his hockey team his hockey team was up against.
The Big Blue didn’t just put an end to that streak; they smashed it to smithereens. And in the process, they went on an unprecedented postseason run to culminate in the greatest season in Swampscott hockey history.