Andover Boys Hockey Co-Captain Matt Veneri ’21 began playing hockey at the age of seven. Inspired by his father’s collegiate hockey career, Veneri carried his love for the sport to Andover, where he joined the team his Junior year and became a co-captain his Senior year. According to Sawyer Paul ’22, Veneri is a role model for all players because of his diligence and easygoing attitude.
“Matt is a really nice kid and he is a really hard worker. He puts in a lot of extra work that rubs off on the younger kids, and when we see him putting in extra work, it inspires us to do the same. Matt is [also] really approachable. He is really nice and he is outgoing so if there are any problems, Matt is a great person to talk to,” said Paul.
What position do you play?
I entered Andover as a forward, which is an offensive position. By my Lower year, I had a lot of injuries so I switched to defense, and the same thing happened in my Upper year. This year, I was going to play defenseman.
What motivates you to play hockey?
I think what motivates me to play hockey are the challenges. Hockey is a very challenging sport and I always look for a challenge. Also, the team environment in the locker room and on the ice and the bond with teammates in hockey [are things] that always motivate me.
What is your favorite thing about hockey?
I have a few favorite [things] about hockey, one of them would be how fast-paced it is. [Also,] relationships that I have made in hockey [I] know are going to be life long, definitely at Andover, so the team environment is definitely one of the key factors of motivation.
How are you a role model for others on the team?
Certainly, an aspect [of being a role model is] leading by example, and team captains have done a really good job with that. We are focused on creating student-athletes and well-rounded people… [Some values that we have] are respect, honor, and leading by example.
What is the most important thing that you have learned from hockey?
I think the most important thing that I have learned is that there isn’t anything better you can accomplish as an individual than you can as a team. I think that teamwork is one of the concepts I have learned best [through] Andover hockey.
What is your favorite moment from Andover hockey?
The Andover/Exeter games are definitely the most fun for me; especially what they mean to me and how they have progressed. Each season we play Exeter twice. [Normally, the game is] pretty close, usually [decided by] one goal. Last year was a fantastic game. The school rivalry, the atmosphere of the games, and the bonds that we create during those [are] definitely amazing.