Gazette Boys 2021 Soccer Player of the Year: Hunter LePage, Belchertown

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.”

Men’s soccer starsFirst team

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

Second team

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

Honorable mention

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