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Digby high school hockey team has work cut out in second half of season

Digby Mariners hockey action from this file photo. FILE PHOTO
Digby Mariners hockey action from this file photo. FILE PHOTO

The Mariners started the season with a 3-9 record

DIGBY, N.S. - The Digby Regional High School Mariners are at the half-way point of their season and have work to do in the second half.

As of Dec. 13, coach Joey Amero said the team’s record is 3-9 into the 20-game schedule of the Valley High School Hockey League.

“Overall, it’s been mixed but I’m pleased with the way they’ve played,” said Amero who is in his second year as head coach for the team. 

The Mariners play in a 12-team league that includes teams from south-west Nova Scotia. The team also played three tournament games in Berwick this season, finishing with a 1-2 record.

Amero said his club could work on its overall team defence. He said Digby has a young team and plays against schools with a much larger population base.

“We’ve been one of the weaker teams for the past five or six years. One of the main things is we’re using Digby and SMBA (Saint Mary’s Bay Academy) school to combine to make one team. Some of the schools have 60, 70 kids come out to try-outs so they have a lot more to choose from.

“Everybody on those teams have played AAA or AA their whole life and most of our guys have played house league hockey until high school.”

The team only has four Grade 12 players and two of them are key parts of the roster. This includes centre and captain Noah Titus, who sits among the top two in team scoring, and defenceman Graham Cromwell.

“He’s definitely our top offensive player that we use,” said Amero of Titus. “(Cromwell) is the definition of a complete hockey player.”

Digby has two players in Grade 9, three from Grade 10 and the rest are in Grade 11.

Amero said following the regular season, the playoffs are held and that leads into the regionals and the provincials. He said he’s not sure of the playoff format yet but it looks like the top four from the league standings make the post-season.

“I’m not sure how it’s going to work this year because the league changed last year to the three divisions of four…My guess is the division leader of all three divisions, plus a wildcard. There’s probably only going to be four teams that make it because there’s not going to be much time between the end of the regular season and the region and provincial play-downs.”

Meanwhile, Amero said the Mariners are hosting a fundraiser alumni game later this month to raise money for the team. The game will be held on Dec. 22 at 6:30 p.m. and the cost is $5 for admission.

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