Mahar student backstops Greenfield

  • Greenfield goaltender Riley Drew (30), of Mahar, watches an Easthampton shot deflect off his blocker in earlier this season. File Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 3/8/2019 12:08:03 PM
Modified: 3/8/2019 12:08:13 PM

When Riley Drew talks about playing high school hockey, he has to explain himself a little further. 

“I told a friend that I have a hockey game,” Drew said. “Then I had to tell him who I play for.”

Drew is  a junior at Mahar Regional but plays goalie for Greenfield High School as part of a multi-school cooperative.  

“For the school, nobody really knows about anything that goes on with hockey,” Drew said. “I have tried to build it up.”

Drew had a solid season in net for the Green Wave as the starter.

“Everyone calls me crazy because I stand there and have them rip shots at me,” Drew said. “But I think it’s fun. I like knowing I am there to save my teammates. I am the last line of defense.”

Since he was in elementary school, Drew has played hockey with friends from Greenfield, so the when he started playing high school hockey for another school, he knew most his teammates already.

If there are players on the team that aren’t familiar with each other, it makes practices that much more important. 

“The newer kids, I had never seen them before,” Drew said. “It makes it a bonding thing at practice; we all talk to each other and try to get to know each other. That helps our team. The first two practices of the season are the big practices.”

The dominant personalities on the team tend to take over during the early practices when everyone is getting to know each other.

“There are a lot of kids that shelter away and don’t say much,” Drew said. “But then the captains speak and get them to speak and help build bonds.”

Drew’s season ended after an upset loss to Belchertown in the 3A semifinals on March 2.

“We didn’t come out strong,” Drew said. “Then they scored an early goal.”

The Greenfield team only loses two seniors going into Drew’s senior season in net.

“I think we are going to have a shot at a Division 3A title,” Drew said. “We just have to keep working over the summer and fall because most of us play for club teams. We need to come out strong and be motivated to win.”

“We started off really strong, we kept building and building,” Drew said. “Then we lost to Amherst, and it was brutal. We just gave up on each other.”

An 8-1 loss to the Hurricanes was a turning point for Drew and the Green Wave.  

“The next practice, our coaches took us in a meeting,” Drew said. “Just spoke to us and said this can’t happen again. We are a good enough team that one loss is not going to decide our season.”

Greenfield went on to win seven of its next eight games to finish the season at (16-2-2) and grab the second seed in the Div. 3A tournament.

“We were really confident going into the playoffs,” Drew said.  

The Green Wave then beat seventh-seeded Drury in the quarterfinals before the game with Belchertown. 

In his senior season, Drew will look to improve  in his ability to control pucks to limit rebound attempts for the opposing offense. 

“That’s what caused most of my goals this year,” Drew said. 

Drew, matched with James Temple, formed a lethal scoring combination for the Mahar soccer team in the fall.

Drew had 18 goals and 13 assists for the soccer team. In the spring, he will compete in track and field for the Senators. 

20 Questions

Favorite Food: Pasta

Favorite Professional Athlete: Jonathan Quick

Favorite Social Media:Snapchat

Favorite TV Show: Last Man Standing

Favorite Vacation Spot: Grayling, Michigan

Role Model: My father, Jonathan Quick and Tim Thomas

Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans

Pet Peeve: When my defense doesn’t pick people up  in front of the net 

Career Aspirations: Business

Favorite Website: Youtube

Favorite Animal: Giraffe

Best pizza in Athol/Orange: Niki’s Pizza

Gameday rituals: Soccer: Grab food with James Temple, then juggle. Hockey: Everything bagel with veggie cream cheese. Track: Go to the store for Gatorade.

Favorite Sneaker Brand: Nike

Favorite Music Genre: Pop

Favorite Artist:Linkin Park

Best School Subject: Math

Worst School Subject: English

Hidden Talent:N/A

If I had a million dollars: I would give back to the hockey community and purchase a vehicle. 

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