The 2012-2013 winter high school sports season opens up officially in one week when the Gloucester track teams hosts Revere.
The winter season is ripe with teams looking to take their games to the next level, looking for redemption after disappointing 2011-2012 seasons, and looking to rebuild after being hit hard by graduation.
Here’s some things to watch out for this winter on the high school sports scene.
Year of the Viking?
The Rockport hockey team has made a steady incline up the Division 3 North rankings over the last four seasons under head coach Derek Papalegis, and the team is looking to take yet another step up with a roster loaded with talent this winter.
The Vikings return seven of their top eight scorers from last season, a season that saw the Vikings travel all the way to the Division 3 North Semifinals for the first time in program history.
Conor Douglass and Mike Tupper return coming off a season where each scored 28 points and were named Commonwealth Athletic Conference All Stars, Douglass needs 20 points for 100 career points. Rockport also returns goalie Colby Foster, who has 34 career wins in net and is coming off an All Star season last winter where he had a 2.50 goals against average with a pair of shutouts, one coming in the playoffs against Marblehead.
Rebuilding or Reloading?
The Gloucester hockey, Gloucester girls basketball and Manchester Essex boys basketball teams were hit very hard by graduation.
Gloucester hockey graduated its top four scorers from last season, Manchester Essex graduated its top three scorers and are entering the season with a first year head coach (Bryan Shields) while Gloucester girls basketball graduated its top two scorers, as both Heather Cain and Audrey Knowlton took their games to the collegiate level.
All three teams will have to rely on a plethora of new starters but all three teams also return some talent.