OFA Hockey Awards Delivered To Recipients
BY DAVE SHEA
The OFA Hockey season was among the most memorable Blue Devil ice campaigns ever.
The Blue Devils reeled off a 10-game winning streak after an 0-3 start, advanced to the Section 10 Class D finals in a shootout after an epic four-time tie with Salmon River and downed Norwood-Norfolk 2-1 in overtime to win the sectional title.
On Monday many of those memories were revived for members of the team who are housebound and carrying on their studies with school closed by the Corona Virus. Coach Jon Frederick delivered the team awards as a closure for the outstanding season which saw OFA ranked fifth in the final New York State Polls which were announced when the finals of the state tournament were cancelled because of the virus.
"It was an historic season but because of the virus it doesn't look like we could have our team awards banquet anytime soon. I feel terrible for what has happened and I just wanted to give the guys some closure. Hopefully we can have a get together, maybe this summer," said Coach Frederick by phone on Monday speaking for himself and fellow coaches Matt Morley and Jim Howard.
"After losing a close 2-1 game to Massena on Dec. 20 we won 10 straight games, we didn't lose again until February and became only the second team in school history to win 10 straight games. The guys really pulled together to overcome adversity and they were part of a special group of athletes and students which really came up big to support all of the OFA teams. It was a very exciting time for the whole school and community."
Senior goaltender Kelson Hooper was honored as the Team's Most Valuable Player completing one of the best seasons of any goaltender ever in Section 10. He was also the NAC Division II MVP, recipient the WSMA Division II Goaltender of the Year Award, MVP of the Watertown Times All-North Team and Section 10's only First Team All-State selection.
Stephen Morley and Nolan O'Donnell shared the Outstanding Defensive Player Award to climax accolade filled seasons. Morley was honored as a First Team All-NAC Division II selection, made First Team All-North and received Honorable Mention on the Division II All-State Team.
O'Donnell was a Second Team All-NAC Division II selection and made Second Team All-North.
Junior Karson LaRose was honored as OFA's Outstanding Offensive Player, sophomore Drew Costello received the team's Ironman Hard Worker Award, senior Drew Mills received the Robert Hynes Memorial Coaches' Award and senior Mark Barr received the Blue Devils' Coaches' Award.
"This was a very special team which got better by communicating better and just talking more. After each game Nolan O'Donnell presented a painted hard helmet to the player of the game and wrote a blog," said Coach Frederick.
"As a group they had a lot of fun."
Harrison Wert received the team's NAC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award and Wert also earned an NAC Senior Athlete of Academic Distinction along with Mark Barr, Kelson Hooper and Stephen Morley for maintaining a 90 or above average throughout their high school hockey careers.
Members of the OFA team are: Tegan Frederick 7, Dylan Irvine 9, Gunnar McLellan 9, Griffin Wert 9, Nate Woods 8, 2 Derek Barr Forward/Defense 10, 3 Karson LaRose Forward 11, 4 Jack Mills Forward 9, 6 Drew Costello Defense 10, 9 Kaleb Spears Forward/Defense 10, 11 Keighan Sias Forward 11, 2 Timothy McLellan Forward 11, 13 Andrew Mills Forward 12, 14 Stephen Morley Defense 12, 15 Holden Woods Forward 10, 16 Gabriel Clark Defense 9, 17 Harrison Wer tForward 12; 19 Trent Lovely Forward 10, 20 Nolan O'Donnell Defense 12, 25 Mark Barr Forward 12, 26 Chase Jacobs Forward 10, 27 Landin McDonald Forward 9, 29 Kelson Hooper Goalie 12, 30 Drew Piercey Goalie 10.