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New Role, Same Coach: Thank You Coach Connolly

With the new high school hockey season almost upon us and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share a heartfelt token of appreciation on behalf of all current and former Bulldogs hockey families to Coach Scott Connolly. Coach Connolly will be taking a step back from his CHS coaching duties this season to dedicate more time to his family and to his work. Rest assured, Coach Connolly is not going anywhere. He will remain on our coaching staff and occasionally attend practices and games when he can to provide our players the same wisdom, passion, and love of hockey that he has shared with his Canton hockey players over the last 10+ years.

A graduate of Canton High School and a Bulldogs hockey alumnus himself, Coach Connolly joined the CHS boys hockey coaching staff at the start of the 2010-2011 season. I remember Coach telling me how much he loved and missed coaching high school hockey, something he did at Boston Latin School while going to school at Northeastern as an undergrad. Along with Nick Maffeo and a core group of dedicated local hockey parents, Coach Connolly was (and continues to be) instrumental in making Canton Youth Hockey into one of the strongest town hockey programs in the state of Massachusetts. He joined our program as a volunteer who worked with our goalies, but he very quickly extended his impact to all players in our program.

By the 2012-2013 season, Coach Connolly took on the role of full-time varsity coach. He continued to work with the goalies and also began to lead the defensive corp. Under Coach Connolly’s guidance, the Bulldogs defenders and goalies held teams to less than two goals a game during his tenure as coach. Former defenseman and Hockomock League MVP Jackson Maffeo recalls his time with Coach Connolly, saying “Playing for Coach Connolly was the best. I can’t thank him enough for all his dedication and mentorship throughout my high school career.”

As impactful as Coach Connolly is as a coach inside of the rink, he has always taken more pride in using hockey as a vehicle for charity outside of the rink. Like most communities, Canton has sadly faced its tragedies over the years. Coach Connolly is always one of the first people in our town to step up and find various ways to support families in need. He has shown our players that hockey is a selfless, team game and that teamwork is expected outside of the rink when people need help. As our 2019 state champion goaltender, Michael Staffiere, shared, “Coach Connolly is one of the most generous and selfless people I’ve met. On and off the ice he was always there for my family and me. I always knew I could go to Coach Connolly for any advice or help I ever needed.” Many, many people in the Canton community feel this same way.

Although I don’t want to speak for Coach, I have to imagine that some of his fondest memories of the last ten years have been watching his own family become part of the Bulldogs hockey family. His three sons, Jack, Sean, and Liam joined the program as junior team managers and “puck stackers” when they were still Squirts and Mighty Mites. In the blink of an eye, Jack and Sean donned the CHS hockey jersey, winning state championships with their father in 2019 and 2020. All the while, Coach’s wife, Christine, his mom and dad, Mrs. and Mr. Connolly, proudly watched “their boys” from the stands share a lifetime of memories together. Athletics always have and always will be something that bonds the Connolly family.

I can say with the utmost confidence that our program would not be as strong as it is today without Coach Scott Connolly. He has dedicated thousands and thousands of hours to help our players have the best high school experience possible. Few coaches in the state, in any sport and at any level, work harder than Coach. And with his new role in the program, it seemed fitting to take a moment to thank him for all he has done. Too often, we thank people for their service or contributions at later dates than they should have been thanked. When you see Coach around the rinks, be sure to thank him for what he does and continues to do for our program.

With Gratitude,

Brian Shuman

CHS Boys Hockey Coach

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