Girls Varsity Hockey team scrimmages with a special team!


The Girls Varsity Hockey team knew the competition would be a challenge when they scrimmaged against the Boston Bear Cubs, but they never expected the outcome to be so rewarding.

The Cubs, a co-ed special needs team with players from age six and up, is part of the Mass. Special Hockey Association. The team practices and plays at the Canton Ice House with a different high school team each weekend throughout the winter hockey season. 

 “It’s great to give back to something we love, and we love playing hockey,” said Archbishop Williams High School girls varsity hockey co-captain Kimberly Dunn, who shared her skill and passion for the sport with the Cubs on a recent Saturday morning.

Co-captain Hannah Bell was moved by the experience. “I don’t think you expect to step out of your comfort zone as much as you do,” said Bell, who appreciated the opportunity to serve as a role model for the Cubs. “It’s wonderful to hear them say, ‘I can’t wait to be as good as you.’” 

“Giving back to the community is an important lifelong skill lesson for student athletes,” said the girls’ coach, Mark McHale, who arranged the practice and game for his team. “Student athletes are role models and mentors. We as coaches and student athletes are leaders in our school, and by committing to make a difference, we have a positive impact on our families, school and society,” he said.

“It’s always good to give back to the community,” said AWHS Athletic Director Gordie McClay, who attended the game. “The girls are all committed athletes who relate to the kids as friends. It says a lot about the girls that they would give up their free time on a Saturday to come out here and work with the team. Their commitment and effort are what sports are all about!”

The Cubs team was founded 12 years ago by John Quill, whose son Sean, a member of the team, wanted to play hockey but didn’t have a team that fit his needs. “It’s great for kids who want to play hockey but have no place to play,” said Quill, who coaches the team. John Summers, joined Quill a year later as a coach. His son, Michael, plays for the Cubs and is the team manager for the Braintree High School Boys Varsity Hockey team. “I think it’s great that they have a place where they can go to enjoy playing hockey,” he said.