A new era has begun at Morristown-Beard.
The Morris County prep school, one of the top high school ice hockey programs in New Jersey, dropped a bombshell when it was revealed long-time head coach and former NHL defenseman Randy Velischek would not return for a 10th season.
As a result, Scott Greene, a well-respected coach with ties to the NJ Colonials (2010-’15) and NJ Rockets (2017) junior hockey organizations, will take the reigns the school recently announced.
Greene, with family bloodlines at the prestigious institution including his father, Chris, a member of the Class of 1969 who was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and his brother, Eric, a standout hockey player from 1998-2001, is anxious to get started.
“We will play a disciplined, selfless team game focused on working as a five-man unit every time we are on the ice,” Greene, who captained Park Regional to back-to-back Haas Cup titles while playing for coach Tom Levis in 2005 and 2006, said. “We will be successful if our players quickly “buy in” to our new culture and systems — the sooner our players are willing to put the team before themselves the better we will do.”
Morristown-Beard went 16-7-2 last season, including 7-2-1 in the tough Mennen Division of the Morris County Secondary Schools Ice Hockey League. The Crimson defeated St. Peter’s Prep of Jersey City, 5-2, in the NJSIAA Sweet-16 before falling to eventual state champion, Delbarton, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. Morristown-Beard was tied at two after two periods of play with Delbarton before yielding a goal to its cross-town rival in the third and final frame. Delbarton went on to defeat Don Bosco Prep in the finals en route to its third straight state title.
Under Velischek, who has moved on to coach the NWHL’s Metro Riveters and Ramapo Saints youth hockey club, Morristown-Beard went 148-69-23 from 2009-’18, winning six Mennen Cups (2010, ’11, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17) and a memorable NJSIAA Non-Public co-state championship with Christian Brothers Academy in 2014.
Greene, who also starred for the Jersey Wildcats Tier-III junior team while growing up in Whippany, is determined to maintain that high level of performance at Morristown-Beard. Returning to help coach the Crimson in 2017-18 are assistant coaches Don Marino and Woody Kapp.
“Our focus as a coaching staff is to promote the development of student-athletes by providing them opportunities to maximize their potential on and off the ice,” said Greene, who went on to earn Academic All-American honors while playing for the University of Scranton (Class of 2010). “Our program is focused on building high-end character players that play a team game, relying on our discipline, accountability and selflessness.”
Greene will look to returning lettermen senior forward Connor Tartaglione (14-11-25), junior forward Tommy Matthews (8-9-17), sophomore forward Seth Kaplan (12-5-17), junior forward Evan Sanford (0-6-6) and senior Dylan Dertouzos (0-1-1) to lead the offense. Newcomers that are also expected to contribute on offense are senior Matt Karrat, who did not play last season, and sophomore Cam Fernandez, who battled injuries for much of 2017-18.
On defense, Morristown-Beard will rely on senior leadership from Matt Dertouzos and Colin O’Connor to lead a young defensive core. Returning senior goalie John Cohen will provide experience in net but competition is wide open with many talented goalies competing for spots. Greene expects his underclassmen to get a lot of opportunities to step up and contribute right away.
“We have three or four talented freshmen that are Tier-I players coming in,” Greene added. “Lots of opportunity for our young guys.”
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: Morristown-Beard celebrates the 2017 Mennen Cup title after a 4-3 victory over Morris Knolls at Mennen Arena in Morris Township. (J.C. Hageny/HockeyClan)
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