The Newburyport hockey team will be well represented at the Bay State Games this year with four Clippers headed to the New England Sports Center in Marlborough in mid-July. That’s twice the number the Clippers sent last year.
“It’s always nice just making the team,” said senior Travis Wile, who along with junior Ben Ventura, made the squad for the second year in a row. “It’s also good that there are more of us this year. It’s always good to skate with your linemates. Last year with Benny, I had an awesome time, just to be able to work our chemistry a little bit.”
Wile and Ventura will once again be playing for the Northeast team and will be welcoming junior Matt Kelleher and sophomore Connor Brennan this year.
“I’m real happy about it, it’s a fun tournament,” said Ventura. “Connor Brennan made it as a freshman this year, which I thought was really good. He worked really hard to get it.”
The tournament will be played July 11 to 14 and is something that Clippers coach Paul Yameen encourages his players to go out for.
“We’ve sent a lot of good players over there in the tournament for the past few years,” said Yameen. “And they’ve had great experiences. It’s a good tournament.”
The four Clippers will be coached by Burlington assistant coach Bobby Conceison, who is returning from last year. That is one of the reasons Yameen likes the Games.
“I like it for numerous reasons,” Yameen said. “It’s good competition. There are kids there from all over the state. They probably get about 12 to 15 good, quality skates, which I believe is perfect for the summer months. And it’s a good showcase. There are a lot of eyes there, a lot of good coaches, and the time commitment doesn’t take away from their summer training.”