, Newburyport, MA

January 31, 2014

Catching up with ... Masco girls hockey coach Andrew Boepple

By Dan Guttenplan
Sports Editor

---- — Andrew Boepple has had his hands full since taking over as the Masconomet girls hockey coach at midseason following Newburyport resident Nicole Twomey’s resignation.

Boepple has been pulling double-duty as an assistant coach on the Masco boys hockey team and head coach of the girls team.

After a 3-0 start, the Chieftains, who are part of a coop that also includes athletes from Newburyport, Amesbury, Triton and Georgetown, have gone 1-6-1 in their last eight games. Boepple recently caught up with The Daily News to share his experience stepping in as the head coach at midseason.

How are you enjoying being the head coach?

“It’s just for the remainder of the year. Nicole’s planning on coming back. She had some problems with her schedule this year.”

How did the players take to the change?

“The girls are definitely handling the change well. They’re working hard. We’ve had some ups and downs in the games we’ve played. Things are improving.”

Are any of the local players contributing in a big way?

“From Triton, we have two sophomore defensemen — Lily Dow and Sydney Sheerin. From Newburyport, we have another sophomore defenseman, Megan Hubbard. Our goaltender, Molly Kelly, is a junior from Newburyport. Isabel Sarra, a freshman from Newburyport, is seeing a lot of ice time. One of our captains, Ashley Hodge, is a junior from Newburyport who is one of our most respected players. From Amesbury, we have a junior defenseman, Meg Aponas.”

How did you know who deserved ice time when you started at midseason?

“I have an assistant, Carin DiPietro, who was with Nicole. I spoke with Nicole and the Masconomet athletic director (John Daileanes) toward the end of December.”

Is that when you took over?

“I didn’t take over until Jan. 2. At that time, I got to meet the players and go over how things were going so far. I got to know the goals from the team.”

Has it been what you expected?

“The transition has been as smooth as it could be. It’s always difficult for a coach to come in to a new situation with games right away. It’s tough for players to adjust to a coach at midseason.”

How do you balance coaching the boys and the girls?

“I’m going from one practice to the next, basically.”