Scoring two of the five goals in the home opener for Andover Boys Hockey against Choate, forward Thomas Manty ’19 has proven himself to be a strong addition to the team as a new Upper.
Head Coach Paul Tortorella ’80 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “We ask all the boys to be versatile. That’s what it is about. Thomas plays whatever role is needed at the time. His athleticism, and most importantly his imagination, is what gives him an edge over the opponent and contributes to the team’s successes.”
Manty’s passion for hockey, creative plays, and strong offensive impact has earned him the title of The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
How did you get introduced to playing ice hockey?
I got into [the sport] because my dad played semi-professional in Italy and played at Boston University. I kind of just grew up around him and him taking me to games. That’s basically how it started. I learned to skate at Phillips Academy skating school when I was 2, then grew up playing for the Middlesex Islanders organization out of North Andover, Mass. with current teammate Christian Powers #13. When high school came, I decided to attend Central Catholic High School, which has had a top ten team in Massachusetts for the last decade.
How was the transition to the Andover team this year?
Academics was a big jump coming from my old school, Central Catholic, and then hockey is a smooth transition. Different pace, a lot faster, but I think I have made the adjustment pretty well.
What is a highlight from your time playing hockey?
Last year, I scored the overtime goal in the semi-finals of the Super 8 hockey tournament (which features the top eight teams in the state) to help send my team to the Super 8 finals at the Boston Garden where we lost 2-1 in overtime to Arlington High School.
How would you describe the team here and what is unique about how you play?
We have a really good bond. We spent basically the whole fall together. We’d work out together and hang around together. We started the chemistry early off in the year and everyone was welcoming and that was the start of it and [has] led into practices. We always have upbeat practices and everyone is always trying to make each other better which leads into the games where we are doing pretty well.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I have a couple rituals. I usually get a special stretch after we do our own dynamic warm up. I do a couple things which one of my trainer taught me. I drink this special sports drink though. Tape my stick a certain way. I put my gear on a certain way.
What goals do you have for the season?
To win us a lead eight. Make it to the lead eight tournaments to start and then if we can make it there win that. If we can’t make it there, make it to the large school tournament and if not win that.
What did you think of the team’s first game against Choate?
The crowd Friday night was electric, our team fed off of their energy. I never expected that many students to come to an opening game. I look forward to seeing the same fan base at future games as well as on campus. We could not have asked for a better start. We play a home game this Friday against New Hampton School and I would love to see everyone there!