LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite coming short of some team goals during his final season of Livingston High School ice hockey, senior Max Solomon managed to complete an impressive varsity resume for himself as a leader for the squad.
“My main goal at the beginning of the season was to win a State Championship and a McGinnis Cup,” said Solomon. “Since the core of the team was very inexperienced, I had a soft goal of getting to states and that’s what drove me to getting the wins on the board for the team.”
Solomon was a consummate leader from the start of the season. The senior knew he would have his work cut out for him with a group of players that possessed only three seniors on the varsity lineup.
“I just made sure that everyone felt comfortable because although it is a varsity sport, they are playing with older kids,” said Solomon. “It’s still the same game, so I just made sure they kept their head up straight and played the same game they were playing for their entire lives.”
This season, Solomon was nothing short of fantastic. The forward netted team highs in points, goals and assists to finish the season with 28, 17 and 11, respectively.
“I definitely think I had more confidence to some point this year knowing that I had to be that leader to put points on the board,” he said. “I definitely think it was the experience and the comfort that I had which got me to that point.”
Solomon’s presence was felt all season long, but perhaps no more than in a game against West Essex as the season neared its end. Against the eventual top seed for the Kelly League Cup, Solomon netted a hat trick in what became a 4-2 victory over the Knights.
“That game was something that our coach definitely wanted us to win against West Essex, and they were definitely looking to beat us because they haven’t in some time and thought we were vulnerable,” said Solomon. “To put up three goals and come out with a win in that game, I know it definitely meant a lot to coach [Dave Conklin] and it meant a lot to me.”
Despite finishing out his final hockey season with team record of 7-13-4, Solomon still reflects positively on his time as part of both the Livingston Hockey Program and the community as a whole.
“It was the greatest four years of my life,” said Solomon. “It’s what you live for and I couldn’t have asked for a better four years. We made some good runs and it definitely tested my leadership ability.”
Solomon has yet to decide where he’s headed next year, but said he would explore a hockey career beyond Livingston High School. Regardless of which college he ultimately attends, Solomon vowed to not let the sport interfere with his main focus of academics.
All photos were provided by Nick Teodoro.