Andover Boys Hockey Captain Bobby Corkery ’23 was put into skates at just four years old and started playing hockey soon after at five. Named after legendary Boston Bruins defensemen Bobby Orr, Corkery also plays defense.
“My dad just put me out there on the ice, he definitely motivated me to play. He used to tell me, I was named after Bobby Orr, the best defenseman to ever play, so that was kind of the motivation during hockey… [I love hockey due to] the hard work and determination it teaches you but also the teamwork aspect of it. I feel like it really translates into life really well. You have to put in the work and work well in a group and as one,” said Corkery.
Corkery strives to lead by example and be inclusive of his teammates. Despite being captain, he does not see his leadership and role on the team as being any greater than his teammates.
Corkery said, “I really take pride in leading by example, in the way I play. Before the games, in the locker room, I give the guys a little speech. It’s short, but it’s sweet. Also, I leave the team structure for the games and everything. I think that helps us get ready for the games. Other than that, my strategies in captaining are definitely just hearing the guys out and taking in what they think and taking everyone’s ideas. I also think it’s really important being a captain that you don’t take the authority, and I don’t think I have authority over any other seniors or anyone else in the team. I think all of the Seniors and PGs are all just as much leaders as I am.”
According to Daniel Rekoske ’23, Corkery’s less vocal approach does not prevent him from being a prominent leader on the team. Rekoske noted Corkery’s ability to acknowledge moments when he is needed as a vocal captain as well as when it is the time to lead by example.
Rekoske said, “I’ve had two different kinds of captains. It’s the kind of captains that are really vocal, that’s one type. Then the other type is like the guy who kind of just does the right thing every single time and leads by example. And I think Bobby is certainly more of a second type. He’s vocal, he certainly tells the team what to do and he connects well with everyone just through talking. He also can get very quiet and focused before games, like we all do. We all prepare for games differently. Bobby, he’s able to read situations and know when the team needs someone to say something.”
Benjamin Skowronek ’24 appreciates the constant support from Corkery. Besides being an outstanding hockey player, Corkery’s zeal and positive mindset is what keeps the team optimistic, even in the hardest of games, according to Skowronek.
Skowronek said, “He’s just a nice, great guy. He’s a great leader on and off the ice. He’s very supportive like when you make a bad play, he doesn’t yell at you, he just tells you to pick your head up. I’ve noticed that he obviously leads by example. On the ice, he’s a great player. He acts nice and supportive to everybody off the ice too. He’s always somebody you can talk to.”
Assistant Coach Ted Parker shared a similar sentiment to Skowronek, highlighting Corkery’s leadership ability all across the ice.
“I think Bobby does the best in terms of his on-ice efforts that sets the tone for the rest of the team. He works hard on both ends of the ice. He is a positive leader and sets a good example for the rest of the team,” said Coach Parker.
Rekoske commended Corkery for creating a supportive environment on the team, after previous years of struggling with it. According to Rekoske, Corkery made sure to connect with all of the lowerclassmen, ensuring that they were comfortable on the team.
“The efforts Bobby made early on to get to know every single one of the new guys, especially, the new younger guys… I think what resulted was just a team where everyone is comfortable with everyone at least as much as we can be, and it doesn’t really matter what grade, we kind of got rid of those barriers. I think we have come together more as a team this year. And it’s just because Bobby is so, so nice and friendly and has made every effort possible to connect with every single one of the players,” said Rekoske.