To understand the move to Division 1 for the Newburyport and Triton hockey programs, you have to understand the two men steering the respective programs.
Paul Yameen took over the Newburyport hockey program in 2003-04, a year after the Clippers went 7-11-1 and averaged 15 minutes of penalties per game. After leading the Clippers to a record of 4-15-1 in his first season as a head coach at the high school level, Yameen turned the program around in a hurry.
The Clippers qualified for the Division 2 North tournament every season from 2004 to 2013. Yameen’s Clippers won the Division 2 state championship in 2009, then went back to the TD Garden for the second time in two years the next season, when they fell to Canton in the state-championship game.
Like many coaches who experience sustained success, Yameen always wants more. Over the last few years, he’s become irritated by the state of high school hockey. He’s seen some of the top teams in the Cape Ann League leave in pursuit of more competitive conferences. He’s seen weaker teams in the Cape Ann League round out their non-league schedules with Division 3 opponents. He’s seen referees fill up the stat sheets with Newburyport penalties, citing his team for what Yameen believes to be legal hits against smaller opponents. Finally, he’s seen select Division 1 coaches refuse to schedule games against his team because they have nothing to gain from the contest.
The man behind Triton’s move to Division 1 is Drew Wile, who is in his second stint with the Vikings. Wile played football under legendary coach Jack Welch at Ipswich High, and adopted many of Welch’s coaching philosophies. Also shaping Wile’s coaching philosophy was his stint as an assistant at Catholic Memorial, where he helped lead CM to six Super Eight championships in eight seasons.