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First-year coach enjoying hockey in Marblehead

Mark Marfione is amid his first season at the helm as head coach of the Marblehead boys’ hockey team
and is loving every minute of the experience.
Marfione’s squad currently holds a 7-3-3 overall record, which he is proud of.
“I try to come into every season without having any premediated expectations,” Marfione said. “I also try my best to not look at how many returning players we have coming back from last year’s team and how the team did the previous season, so we can really start on clean slate. It was easier to do that this year, as I was hired later in the process. My only expectation I ever have is that I want the kids to work hard and get better every day. The kids are meeting this expectation, which I am so happy to see.”
This is not Marfione’s first time being a head coach of a high school hockey program, as he was the head coach of Cambridge Rindge and Latin for five years. Even though Marfione has yet to finish his first season at Marblehead, he has seen some similarities and differences from his previous endeavor to his current one.
“The communities in Cambridge and Marblehead are both great, and all the kids I have been lucky enough to coach have been equally great,” Marfione said. “Coming to Marblehead though, you could quickly see that it is a big hockey town. Cambridge has a good hockey program but is still more of a basketball centered community. In Marblehead though, the community here really cares about its hockey program, has a great fanbase, which I am lucky enough to be a part of.”
Despite Marfione only having one expectation for his team coming into the season, he still strives and wants his team to reach certain benchmarks.
“I always want my teams to finish first in the league, qualify into the state tournament, and then make a run in the tournament” Marfione said. “Where we stand right now at 7-3-3, all these goals are still
attainable. We may need a few things to break our way if we want to win the league, but if we can win at least 2-3 more games out of the seven we have remaining, I think we will have a good chance to be a
part of the state tournament.”
With the state tournament well within reach for Marblehead, Marfione feels his team can make a long run if given the chance.
“We have a good mix of youth and experience on this team,” Marfione said. “We have seniors and underclassmen making key contributions throughout the season, as we have two freshmen in our regular rotation. I feel this group will make some noise in postseason play if given the opportunity.”
Speaking of experience, Marfione has been really impressed with the play of senior goalie Griffin Winter.
“We run a bit of a rotation in net, but any time Griffin’s name is called to play, he has been great,”
Marfione said. “Griffin always gives us a chance to win when he is between the pipes, and his leadership on and off the ice has been tremendous.”

There are only seven games remaining in Marblehead’s season and Marfione wants to ensure his team takes none of them for granted. “During these final games, we will be playing teams that we have matched up against earlier in the
season,” Marfione said. “I do not want the kids taking away anything that happened the first time we played them, as those teams will be better than the last time we squared off against them. I feel as we
continue to get better individually and as a team, positive results will follow.”