By Matt Liebowitz
JT Chamberlain’s dream has come true. And like any sought-after goal, his took a long time, a lot of early mornings, persistence, and patient, proud parents.
On Wednesday, April 12, JT formally committed to play hockey next year for the Greyhounds of Assumption College in Worcester, MA. JT, a Williston Northampton senior and forward for the Wildcats, has been anticipating this since around the time he could lace up his own skates.
“It’s awesome,” said JT, 19, who plans to study sports management. “I’ve been waiting for this since I was five years old.”
As a young member of the North Suburban Wings and the Greater Boston Vipers, both youth teams near his home in Amesbury, MA, JT said he knew even then that he always wanted to play college hockey. His dad, John, was on board. In fact, he was behind the bench.
John coached JT from the time he was five until he went to private school, first at Pingree School near Boston, and then at Williston as a junior.
With coaches Derek Cunha and Kyle Hanford at the helm, Williston helped develop JT’s skills on the ice. But what the school also gave JT, his parents said, went beyond the rink.
“He’s grown up, he’s much more mature,” said JT’s mom, Judy, an assistant preschool teacher in Amesbury. “Apart from the bond with the students, especially the kids on his team, [Williston] has prepared him for the next step.”
John, who has worked for the Federal Air Marshal Service since 1991, echoed his wife’s sentiments, citing JT’s resolve even when times have been tough.
“This school’s developed him into a man,” John said, adding that coaches Cunha and Hanford helped guide him athletically and “keep him on the straight and narrow.”
When JT hits the ice for Assumption in the winter, he’ll have the added benefit not just of maturity, strength, speed, and stick skills, but a little rivalry to stoke the competitive flame. His current teammate, Nick Schofield, will be suiting up for Stonehill College. The two teams face off three times next season.
With a smile on his face and Schofield within earshot, JT took the opportunity to throw the proverbial first punch.
“I’m going to nail him,” he said.