When you watch a hockey game, you can clearly identify the captains by the “C” on their jerseys. Two A-level players in the Montclair Hockey Club’s Blues program, Owen Dougherty for MHC’s Bantam A Blue team and Stan Duwal for MHC’s Bantam A White team, have earned the privilege to wear the “C” for their respective teams. In addition to playing for the same travel hockey club, Owen, from Verona and Stan, from Cedar Grove, have something else in common – they are both eighth graders at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic grammar school in Verona.
Whether chosen by their peers or their coaches, these student athletes demonstrate the qualities needed to wear the “C.” They are role models and leaders on and off the ice. In Stan’s case, he earned leadership recognition “as a result of hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude,” says MHC Coach Richard Miller. About Owen, coach Jim Philbin states, “It is refreshing to see that some youths appreciate and benefit from some ‘old school’ concepts such as leadership and character.”
Their coaches agree that they give 100% and encourage and lead their teammates to do the same. When reached for feedback, Owen’s MHC coach Pat McGrath said, “Owen has embraced the responsibilities that come with being team captain and has been consistent with his approach. Whether it be at practice or a game, Owen always gives 100% and his teammates feed off that.” Dougherty was voted captain by his peers and Duwal by his coaches.
Both young men also play basketball for Our Lady of the Lake and are active members in the OLL parish and school communities. Additionally, Stan leverages his leadership talents in school government, filling the spot of vice president of the student council and by participating in OLL’s Kid2Kid program. While their parents deserve credit for instilling positive values in Owen and Stan, their parents also give credit to the coaches at Montclair Hockey Club as well as the outstanding faculty and community of Our Lady the Lake School who reinforce daily the qualities of hard work, leadership, character, responsibility, and accountability. These qualities will serve Owen and Stan well next year as they continue on to Saint Peter’s Prep and Seton Hall Prep respectively. Their coaches and teachers agree that both of these student-athletes will succeed in their future endeavors.