SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 3, 2013

North Shore Tech, Essex Aggie players getting a chance to play varsity hockey at Mystic Valley

Ever since Bryan Jackson was a high school freshman, he has worked hard to bring hockey to North Shore Tech.

Now as a senior, the Danvers resident from a hockey family has seen his dream come true.

Hockey players who attend North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie can now play varsity hockey as part of a cooperative program with Mystic Valley Charter School in Malden. The move has worked out well for both programs, and Jackson is playing a leading role as a team captain and one of the squad’s top scorers.

“I love the fact we were able to make this happen,” said North Shore Tech athletic director Paul Worth, who had been working on the project for a year and a half. “When we finally got approval from the MIAA, Bryan was the first one I called.

“The schedule has been tough, with Division 1 Everett and Cambridge along with Catholic Central (League)’s Marian. Those are all established programs that have been around a long time. This move actually benefited Mystic Valley, as well as us, because their numbers were down.”

Heading into this Saturday’s game against East Boston, the combined Mystic Valley team sports a very respectable 3-5-1 mark. The Eagles shook off a five-game winless streak to win three straight against O’Bryant (5-1, then 7-1) and Minuteman (4-1).

“When coach Worth called me last summer, I was on vacation in Maine with my family,” said Jackson, whose older brother Brendan played for Danvers High and whose sister, Brianna, was an outstanding goalie for the Beverly High girls’ team. “He made my vacation a whole lot better because I really wanted to play hockey. I had thought about transferring to Danvers High after my freshman year so I could play, but decided my career was more important.”

Jackson and senior defenseman Max Sciola from Beverly, who played for Worth on the North Shore Tech football team (Jackson a tight end/defensive end; Sciola at linebacker), have each stepped up to play big roles for the hockey team.

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