Head Girls’ Hockey coach Jim Geraghty awarded DCL/MVC Coach of the Year


Provided by Jim Geraghty

Geraghty coaches up the girls’ hockey team.

James McDermott, Co-Sports Editor

After leading WA Girls’ Hockey to the state tournament after a 5-15 season in 2021-2022, head coach Jim Geraghty has been voted Dual County League/Merrimack Valley Conference Coach of the Year (DCL/MVC).

In the 2022-2023 season, the girls’ hockey team improved drastically from 5-15 to 9-10-1, clinching their first state tournament appearance in Geraghty’s time as head coach. Geraghty has over 25 years of experience coaching hockey, but only took up the job at WA two seasons ago. 

In his first year, Geraghty was informed only ten players planned to try out for the team, leaving him in a position no coach is prepared for. Geraghty, however, was able to field a team with what he had, and made some other adjustments including starting a seventh grader at goalie. 

While Geraghty was very impressed with the way the girls competed amongst such difficult circumstances in one of the most competitive conferences in the state, the team still ended the season just 5-15.

This season, Geraghty made it very clear to the team that they had one goal and one goal only: to make the state tournament. After a 5-15 season in 2021-2022, this seemed like a lofty goal, but Geraghty’s confidence inspired his team. The team went 9-10-1 and made the state tournament. In fact, when strength of schedule was taken into account in the power rankings, WA was ranked as high as the 20th best team in the state.

In the state tournament, WA faced off against the 13th seeded Billerica. Although they lost 2-0 in a battle, Geraghty was extremely proud of how hard his team played all year long.

This drastic improvement is of course a testament to the players on the ice including senior captains Faith MacDonald, Hannah Kennedy, and Belle Field, but also to Geraghty’s leadership and coaching. Turning a program around in just two years is a notable achievement and undoubtedly played a major part in him being awarded DCL/MVC Coach of the Year.

“It means a lot to me that the other coaches in the league chose me as the coach of the year. But honestly, we have 4 coaches on our staff and I feel that we all won this together,” Geraghty said. “I really credit this award to our coaching staff Joe Maduri, Laura Hannon and Cory Brown.”

Geraghty also contributed much of the team’s success to having two strong goalies, four top-tier defensive players, and two very solid lines, but more than anything else, he credits the attitudes and mindsets of his players. 

“This team was so special because of their work ethic and their positive attitudes,” Geraghty said. “They really believe in themselves. The highlight of the season was playing Shrewsbury – where we lost 2-1 in an exciting battle but they went on to win the Massachusetts Division 1 state title.” 

At the beginning of each season, every team in the state wants to win the final game, yet every year only one can. Winning a state championship is an extremely difficult task, but it is safe to say that WA Girls’ Hockey is trending very much in the right direction, with Geraghty being a massive reason for this success.