Something every ice hockey team wants is an identity. For the new man at the helm for Marblehead, he wants his team to be fast and physical, along with a splash of creativity – and his name is Mark Marfione.
Since Chris Wells, the former head coach of the Headers for four seasons, stepped down in March, the search for the next chapter of Marblehead hockey began.
It took time, but it’s official. Marfione stepped down from his head coaching position at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School before a timely connection took place.
Winthrop Athletic Director Matt Serino talked to Marblehead Athletic Director Greg Ceglarski about a potential Marfione hire. The deal was then made for the 39-year-old to take on the role.
“I’m excited to be here and for the opportunity, and I like the situation I’m coming into,” Marfione said. “The tradition, all the fan support, and how it really seems like a hockey town which is nice.”
If there’s one thing Marfione wants the Marblehead faithful to know, it’s that he wants his group to be a hard-working one.
The Reading native, who played for Reading High from 1997-2001 as a defenseman, arrives with an all new coaching staff of former Marblehead skaters: Kyle Koopman, Tim Kalinowski, and Liam Gillis.
The staff’s approach is to go in with a clean slate, find strengths and weaknesses during tryouts and early practices, and then build the team around that. Instead of arriving with a set model, Marfione said he wants to evaluate his players and mold around what he sees.
“I’d like my team to be just really hard-working and disciplined, and play the game the right way – and really get into the details of the game,” Marfione said.
Some of what Marfione calls “must-do’s” are getting pucks out of the defensive zone and winning battles along the wall. Also, he said he doesn’t want his players worrying about messing up or making bad plays.
“A little trial and error. Work through the mistakes and get better,” Marfione said.
One of his other emotions: excitement. Having played hockey since he was five years old, and growing up in Reading – a place where Marfione said hockey games were what people looked forward to every winter – he gets the same feelings of passion out of Marblehead.
“It seems like there’s a lot of fan support,” Marfione said. “People really like hockey.”
He’s especially excited for league games and other rivalries – most notably the energy in the different arenas.
“That’s one of my favorite parts about high school hockey,” Marfione said.
At Marblehead High School, Marfione met with all of his players to introduce himself, and got to know his captains afterwards – those being Chris Locke, Hogan Sedky, and Carter Laramie.
The team went 10-9-2 last season; the Marblehead faithful looks for another fun season with Marfione in charge.
“We’re all really eager to get going, and optimistic about the season,” Marfione said.