BELCHERTOWN – Hunter LePage’s highlight opens with two goals in the first 20 seconds: his first rebound goal that won the 2019 Western Massachusetts Championship and a tap-in from a corner this fall.
A standard start for a show of skill, but not exactly representative of the type of player the Belchertown senior center-back is. The remaining six and a half minutes are almost boring in comparison. These are all proper decisions, effective clearances, and thoughtful distribution to start the offense. There is no dramatic pursuit of tackles or acrobatic thwarting of attacks at the last moment.
That would mean he was out of position in the first place.
“There’s no particular moment for him that stands out because he does everything the right way,” said Belchertown coach Zach Siano. “It’s a series of moments over and over again watching him be that silent assassin on the defensive line and take out some of the area’s top scorers. For a team that ended up having 15 shutouts over the course of the year and allowed half a goal per game, that’s something incredible, and Hunter is certainly the backbone behind it.
LePage, Gazette Boys 2021 Football Player of the Year, finished with three goals and one assist while orchestrating one of the best defenses in the state. Belchertown did not allow any goals in the state tournament until the final, where he fell on penalties to Norwell. He was named All-State and All-New England by United Soccer Coaches.
He makes the right play seem easy when it often isn’t and requires a thorough understanding of the game, his team’s style and where the ball needs to be.
“It is certainly difficult. It comes with a lot of vision on the pitch and a lot of anticipation and having a firm breath and an understanding of the game and how we think teams are going to move and change and what they are going to throw at us ”, Siano said. “He knows what their best attributes are and how to pull them off. This allows him to swallow up teams.
This awareness comes from playing the same position for most of your life. LePage never wanted to be up front to score all the goals.
“I love to play it,” he said. “I control the whole back line and I can see everything throughout the game. Honestly, a great position to be.
Belchertown’s senior class have played together since they were young for both city school teams and club teams during the spring and summer months. Joey Bianco was on hand to watch LePage go silent in the defensive third.
“He’s just smart with the ball and he doesn’t make decisions like most defenders do,” Bianco said. “He’s great physically, he can really play. I think his ability to lock in an attack and all of that makes him the best backstroke I’ve seen in a long time.
LePage was a member of three Western Mass Championship teams. and won a state title in second year. He will continue his career next season at Assumption with Bianco.
“Certainly incredibly what we have to accomplish,” said LePage. “I couldn’t be happier with what I did.”
James aas, senior, PVCICS
Joey bianco, senior, Belchertown
Ryan belina, junior, Smith Academy
Akira Bix, senior, Amherst
Liam brown, senior, Granby
André Ciaglo, senior, Hopkins Academy
Francisco Climent, senior, Granby
Preston Cafesenior catwalk
Aengus cox, senior, Amherst
Carter Daughdrill, senior, Easthampton
Racing Drobiak, senior, Smith Vocational
Tyler Dubreuil, senior, border
AJ Dybacki, senior, Hampshire
Tyler evans, senior, South Hadley
Grady fern, senior, Hampshire
Patrick fitzgibbons, second year, Hopkins Academy
Logan Graves, junior, Smith Academy
Carter Hébert, senior, Easthampton
Jack holt, junior, Belchertown
Riley intrator, junior, Smith Academy
Hunter lepage, senior, Belchertown
Devin Niles, second year, Border
Dominique mancuso, senior, Belchertown
Aidan Miklasiewiczsophomore, Hampshire
Brady mcdonald, senior, Northampton
Shay O’Neill, senior, Belchertown
Rosco Palmer, sophomore, Smith Vocational
John Senn McNally, junior, Northampton
Payton sladeski, senior, border
Gabe Zellin, senior, Easthampton
Charlie anischik, junior, South Hadley
Matt Bacis, junior, Easthampton
Illuminated cairn, senior, border
Brown Max, senior, Granby
Brady burch, junior, border
Alex Caldonaro, senior, Northampton
Jacob Chaisson, senior, Belchertown
Gordie cook, senior, Hopkins Academy
Will dobson, senior, Smith Academy
Jimmy galvin, senior, Northampton
Daniel Gauvin, junior, Granby
Josh gingras, junior, Smith Academy
Kaden Houle, junior, Belchertown
Wyatt jeffress, senior, Smith Academy
Elan kuntz, senior, Hampshire
Josef kurkolonis, junior, professional Smith
Grayson Brands, senior, Belchertown
Ethan Marowitz, junior, Easthampton
Dylan martin, senior, border
Owen Millereighth grade, Hampshire
Ryan morinsenior catwalk
Finn norsen, sophomore, Northampton
Nate Oldenburg, junior, Belchertown
Jamie Park, junior, Amherst
Colin Quinn, junior, South Hadley
Landon richardsenior catwalk
Teddy scott, first year student, PVCICS
Javier simms, junior, Easthampton
Abram, senior, PVCICS
Shire thompson, senior, Amherst
Cameron Zononi, junior, Smith Academy
Nick adzima, senior, Belchertown
Ayden Audetjunior catwalk
Owen Babb, freshman, Frontier
Seth Boissenault, senior, Smith Vocational
Carson boscher, senior, Belchertown
Teddy bear Cyr, eighth grade, Hopkins Academy
Gavin Gilburg, senior, PVCICS
Roger grondin, senior, Smith Academy
Patrick gubala, senior, Holyoke
Nick jacob, senior, Smith Vocational
Robert L’Abbée, junior, Granby
Brady Mendoza, senior, South Hadley
Mateo navarro, junior, Easthampton
Freddy orozco Rivas, senior, Holyoke
Charlie por, junior, Hampshire
Owen Przybylajunior catwalk
Fernando Saravia, junior, border
Chanhee’s son, second year, Border
Connor stiles, junior, Northampton
Thomas vinagre, senior, Belchertown
Carter White, junior, Granby