Walpole, MA - Walpole Express Head Coach Jon Lounsbury named James Varney (Smithfield, ME) team captain for the 2015-16 season. Zach Feldmen (San Diego, CA) and Eric Lipa (Lockport, NY) were named assistant captains. If these names sound familiar, they should. All three players wore Express jerseys last season and helped lead the team to its first Division Championship since 2012.
"It says a lot about the character of the players we brought back," Lounsbury said. “These are guys that go above and beyond to make everyone around them better. They are proud to put on the Express sweater each day and their earnest attitude resonates with every player in the room."
Varney has led by example since entering the program in 2013. "James hasn’t had the easiest road in junior hockey and not once has that fact changed his approach to leading the team and making himself better," Lounsbury said. "In two season, James has had hip surgery that has sidelined him from playing time. Yet, never once did he complain, and he was always willing to go the extra mile for the team. That is what makes him so valuable to our room."
Lipa is another lead-by-example player, who is coming off a 23-goal rookie campaign. "Eric, is a go-to guy here in Walpole,” Lounsbury said. “His work ethic speaks for itself and the guys look to him to ignite our offense. I've gotten to know him very well over the past season and can't say enough about his drive and character. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us on the ice this year."
D-man Feldmen joined the team last season from the Odessa Jackalopes in the NAHL. "Zach is an incredibly talented player with a laidback demeanor off the ice,” Lounsbury said. “He leads by example and is a guy who everyone loves. He brings a veteran presence to the team and prides himself on doing whatever it takes to help his team win.”
Express Owner Rob Barletta shares Lounsbury’s confidence in the Express’ new leaders. “I am pleased that these guys are in charge of the locker room this season,” Barletta said. “They are all coming off a great year and I'm excited to see how this talented and committed group of young men will lead the team,” he said.
The Express open their season this Saturday, 9/19 at 6:30 pm at Rodman Arena against division rival New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.