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Pion Joins Shamrocks Coaching Staff

Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 1:08PM
Boston Shamrocks New U16 Assistant Coach Samantha Pion

By James Murphy

As many girls players do, Shamrocks new U16 Assistant Coach Samantha Pion had her work carved out for her breaking into hockey. Not only was she a girl having - like so many of her fellow hockey sisterhood - playing on a boys team when she started, but she was playing in Western Massachusetts, where hockey in general is a niche sport, let alone girls hockey! But fueled by her Dad's passion for the game, despite he himself never playing, and her brother playing, Pion put her own passion and hard work into it and pursued a career in the sport. 

"My father always wanted to play hockey when he was little but he couldn't get into it because his parents said it was too dangerous," the Easthampton, MA native recalled. "So when my older brother was born, he got into it right away and I always watched him play. I always loved seeing him play and wanted to be on the ice as soon as possible. So when I was two-years old, almost three, I got on the ice and never looked back."

Pion started her playing career for a boys club team called the Nonotuck Knights and stayed there until she was 12. She then joined the Springfield Pics girls team and another boys team, the Tri City Thunder based in Holyoke and Chicopee. From there it was on to high school and Proctor Academy in Andover, NH. After a successful career at Proctor, Pion attended Castleton University in Vermont. During her summer breaks in college, Pion helped coach the East Coast Militia summer tournament girls team. She instantly grew a love for coaching and hasn't stopped since, spending a year as an assistant behind the Plymouth State Women's team after graduating from Castleton, before being hired by the Shamrocks this past spring. 

She plans to apply her early coaching experience here with the Shamrocks and hopefully give her players a glimpse into what the college programs are looking for.  "I love it, I love being on the bench and I love being with the girls, giving them a chance to develop," Pion said. "At Plymouth, it was more of a building program than what I was used to at Castleton, so I was able to take what I knew and experienced at Castleton - because a lot of the girls at Plymouth had never experienced it - and look at it from a more experienced point of view. By coaching in college I know now more what the coaches there are actually looking for. Instead of just playing in college, I actually coached a year, so I feel like I know more what they're looking for and I definitely feel like I can help the girls get to that next level."

If her new players here with the Boston Shamrocks, want to get to that next level then Pion is confident her and the coaching staff here can make that happen.  "We all know how to prepare you for and get you to the next level," Pion said. "So if that's where you want to be, then we can get you there."

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