Dartmouth High hockey team celebrates their number one fan
Liam Amaral is the Dartmouth High School hockey team’s number one fan — and he even has a framed certificate signed by the team to prove it.
The 15-year-old was also invited to travel with the boys on the bus and hang out in the changing room for their game against Bourne at the Providence Bruins’ Dunkin’ Donuts Center on February 9.
“He’s a faithful and dedicated fan,” noted Liam’s mom Kathleen. “He enthusiastically supports the High School hockey team throughout the good times and the bad.”
Although Liam isn’t a hockey player himself — “Basketball is where his talent is,” stated Kathleen — hockey is his favorite sport to watch.
“He especially loves being in the cool crisp skate rink, close to the glass, watching the speed as the players skate by,” Kathleen added.
Liam has a rare genetic disorder called Congenital Disorder Glycosylation, or CDG, which affects his cellular metabolism.
But for the hockey team, it is his love of the sport, rather than his disability, that makes him special.
“This is a story of high school kids recognizing that a fellow peer has an incredible interest in hockey,” noted Kathleen. “It’s less about his disability, and more an appreciation for his support.”
She added that they boys have included Liam in team activities “for a while now, which gives Liam a sense of belonging,” and commended both the players and the coaches for their “top-notch” sportsmanship.
Head Coach Mike Cappello stated that the trip to Providence was put together by Dartmouth High Athletic Director Andrew Crisafulli.
“Both programs are looking forward to a great day of hockey,” he stated before the game.
Dartmouth won its game against Bourne 2-1. The team has had a near-perfect season, with only one game lost and one game tied so far this year.
Afterwards the kids — Liam included — watched the Providence Bruins play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday afternoon. They lost 2-1 in overtime.