Bittersweet ending to Girls JV hockey season

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6 year head JV coach Gene Billadeau will be retiring at the close of the season

Claudia Chute, Staff Writer

jv_hockey_bIt’s reasonable to assume that while reading the sports section in the newspaper you trust that all sports dirt has been laid out in front of you, whether accomplished out on the ski slopes or in the arena. But frankly, you’re likely oblivious to the way the majority of your friends’ seasons are going, because they play on the JV team.

Blake has a no-cut policy on sports teams, therefore JV teams are typically bigger in order to fit all the players, and some sports like boys’ basketball or soccer actually require an additional C team. Consequently, most of your friends probably play at the junior varsity level for their sport.

To highlight some concealed news you may have missed, the girls JV hockey season has recently come to a close. They ended their season with a 6-7-4 record; a great improvement in comparison to previous years. Gina Vlahos ’13 dishes, “the team felt like a family, we had great success, and shared some great memories.”

This year they had a Titanic-sized roster that surpassed all previous years, and as a result didn’t have enough lockers for all the players. It’s clear that this team is special, with a tight bond and willingness to have a great time no matter what the scoreboard says. Marisa Bernstein ’14 fondly recalls one instance where “we came into the locker room and we were losing and missing a lot of our team because everyone was out of town. So [Coach Gene Billadeau] stood up and said ‘this is a tough game, and you girls are playing hard… But you guys aren’t smiling! This doesn’t mean anything if you’re not having fun, so I better see some smiles!’ the funny thing is that his speech fired us up enough for the final period. We lost, but it was still one of my favorite games.”

The team also had times often referred to as “classic JV” moments, including forgetting the speed ladder in Blaine and from then on holding down the imaginary ladder while warming up for games. Also the pre-game ritual dance led by our senior ladies, Vlahos and Hayley Evans ‘13, included songs such as “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District and “Ayy Ladie”s by Travis Porter.

Unfortunately, Coach Gene Billadeau is retiring this year so that in the future he will be able to attend the games his son and Blake alum Charlie (formerly Chloe) Billadeau ‘11 participates in at college as goalie.

This year concluded his 6th as JV girls hockey coach; no doubt he will be dearly missed. Many girls on the team characterize him as a second dad, and it’s because of his immense dedication, love and support for the Blake girls hockey program that they made it so far as a team on and off the ice. His fun-loving attitude attributed to the tight-knit nature of the team and the special bond that all players share on “classic JV”.