The Wellesley Boys U12 Revolution team on June 30 won the state championship for Division 2, the first time a Wellesley team has earned that distinction. If that’s not impressive enough, the team racked up a 16-2 overall record, going 8-2 during its regular season in the BAYS league. The Revolution went 3-0 during the BAYS championship, then 5-0 in the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions in Lancaster, Mass., finishing with a pair of come-from-behind wins vs. Lowell and Ludlow.
But there’s even more to this story of a team that got stronger and stronger since joining forces in 2010. In March 0f 2012, assistant coach Rob Mickle was diagnosed with leukemia and he passed away in November, though Mickle continued to coach his son Zach and the rest of the team that spring and fall while undergoing treatments.
Mickle coached alongside DiNovi for the first 2-and-a-half of those 3 seasons, and after Mickle died, DiNovi asked Mickle’s wife Alyssa along with Laurie Burke, another mom with a son on the team, to be his assistants. The team dedicated the season to Rob’s memory.
DiNovi said the boys developed a special chemistry and spent the state tournament weekend eating meals together, watching movies and playing knee hockey. “They never even thought about being nervous,” he said.
Perhaps one other reason for the success: a little good luck. Before every game and practice the coaches and players rubbed a bench at the Sprague fields that the team bought and dedicated to Rob Mickle’s memory.
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