After playing hockey for over ten years, Co-Captain Christian Powers ’19 joined the Andover Boys Hockey team as a new Lower. Inspired by his older brother and friends, Powers began playing the sport as a child and has been playing ever since.
Powers said, “I started playing hockey because it’s big where I am from, so a lot of buddies were playing it and my older brother played it too, so I just did what everyone else was doing. Ever since a young age, I fell in love with it, and it’s really all that I do nowadays. I think I was four years old when I started playing.”
Powers decided to come to Andover to expand on his playing experience and skills before he reaches the collegiate level.
Powers continued, “I came to Andover with the intention that the hockey program was going to help me play at other levels after high school. Playing at Andover, and playing under [Head Coach Paul] Tortorella [’80], has really helped me get the exposure to get my college commitment. Andover has been a great place for me to build on my skills before college, which is also really nice.”
Powers draws inspiration for his own leadership from his experience with past captains. In particular, he invokes their effective methods of supporting a positive team mentality.
Powers added, “I’ve been on the team for a couple of years, so it’s good to finally have a chance to be in a leadership position and to lead such a good group of guys. We’ve had really good captains the past two years I’ve been here. I’ve learned a lot from them, just like little things like how to inspire a group in the locker room when you are down a goal or how to always create a good environment for people so everyone feels like they belong. So just learning the little things that have made me feel like I can lead this group well.”
The leadership skills Powers has cultivated over the past three years are prevalent both on and off the ice, and they help to hold the team to high standards, according to Matt Veneri ’21.
Veneri said, “Christian has a welcoming personality that we can all feel accepted and thus thrive under. His leadership that he has developed with three years at [Andover] has all made us better people. He leads by keeping us accountable, keeping our heads in the game, offering constructive criticism, and encouraging all of us to put our best effort.”
Powers is distinguished by his teammates and coaches for the constant energy and consistency he contributes on the ice and his drive to push himself and those around him to compete at a higher level, according to Co-Captain Carter Giampietro ’19 and Coach Tortorella.
Giampietro said, “Christian always plays with a lot of energy. He always makes sure to keep his energy up and set an example at anytime in the game.”
“He always performs with a high level of energy throughout the entire practice and each game. He has been our most consistent performer over the last the three years and is one of the very best players in our 65 team league. When we were considering captains last year, the graduating Seniors told me that they felt that nobody worked harder harder on the ice, in the weight room, and in class. They really respected him,” wrote Tortorella in an email to The Phillipian.
Powers’ dedication to the sport and team over the past few years make him an example for all to follow, according to Tortorella. Power’s attentiveness and dedication in and out of the rink make him a strong player and leader, according to Tortorella and Veneri.
Tortorella said, “Christian sets a great example by his attention to details, his willingness to ask questions, and how he encourages his teammates. He is super focused and doesn’t let too much bother him.”
Veneri added, “Christian is a smart kid who is a very hard working hockey player. Christian’s hard work is something I have always looked up to. He works hard as a student, motivating and encouraging me to stay on my academics. He is quite honestly the most hard working player I have ever played with, which sets an example for all of us. He has been with the program for three years so he knows how we operate as a team. Christian’s attitude is intense, competitive, encouraging, positive. These are all great aspects of a hockey player. Christian is a great person overall and holds wise intellect on not only hockey but how to thrive as a student-athlete, and for that, we are all grateful.”
Powers cannot pinpoint one aspect of the game he enjoys the most, but attributes his enjoyment to the opportunity he has each day to spend with his team on the ice and in the locker room.
Powers said, “I don’t think there is one thing that I like the most about hockey, but I think just the camaraderie you get with everyone in the locker room [makes the sport special]. There’s something about playing such a physical sport with the guys on your team that just makes you all so close. It’s something you just really look forward to every day.”