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

  • Belchertown senior Hunter LePage (18) knocks away a shot on Belchertown senior goalkeeper Jacob Chaisson, right, attempted by Alex Kuzmich (10) of Cardinal Spellman in the first half of the Orioles' 5-0 Div. 3 state semifinal win over the Cardinals at Doyle Field in Leominster on Nov. 17. Belchertown junior Nathaniel Oldenburg (4) is at center. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Grayson Marques and Hunter LePage of Belchertown after the Orioles lost in the MIAA Division 3 soccer state finals to Norwell in a penalty shootout Nov. 20. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Belchertown senior defender Hunter LePage is the 2021 Gazette Boys Soccer Player of the Year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/11/2022 5:57:55 PM
Modified: 1/11/2022 5:57:03 PM

BELCHERTOWN – Hunter LePage’s highlight reel opens with two goals in the first 20 seconds: his first-timer off a rebound that won the 2019 Western Massachusetts championship and a tap-in from a corner kick this fall.

A standard start for a showcase of skills but not exactly representative of the type of player Belchertown’s senior center back is. The remaining six and a half minutes are almost boring by comparison. It’s all proper decisions, effective clearances and thoughtful distribution to begin the offense. There’s no dramatic chase down tackles or acrobatic thwarting of attacks at the last moment.

Those would mean he was out of position in the first place.

“There’s no particular moment for him that sticks out because he does everything the right way,” Belchertown coach Zach Siano said. “It’s a series of moments over and over and over again just watching him be that silent assassin out there on the defensive line and shut down some of the best scorers in the region. For a team that ended up having 15 shutouts on the year and allowed half a goal a game is something incredible, and Hunter is certainly the linchpin behind that.”

LePage, the 2021 Gazette Boys Soccer Player of the Year, finished with three goals and one assist while orchestrating one of the state’s best defenses. Belchertown didn’t allow a goal in the state tournament until the final, where it fell to Norwell in penalties. He was named All-State and All-New England by the United Soccer Coaches.

He makes the right play look easy when oftentimes that’s not the case and requires a deep understanding of the game, his team’s style and where the ball needs to be.

“It’s certainly hard. It comes with a lot of field vision and a lot of anticipation and having a firm gasp and understanding of the game and how we think that teams are going to move and shift and what they’re going to throw at us,” Siano said. “He knows what their best attributes are and how to take that away. It allows him to swallow up teams.”

That awareness comes from playing the same position for most of his life. LePage never wanted to be up front scoring all the goals.

“I love playing it,” he said. “I get to control the whole back line and I get to see everything throughout the whole game. Honestly a great position to be in.”

Belchertown’s senior class has played together since they were young both for school teams in town and club teams during the spring and summer months. Joey Bianco has been along for the ride to see LePage grow into a silencer in the defensive third.

“He’s just smart on 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 down an attack and stuff make him the best back I’ve seen in a long time.”

LePage was a member of three Western Mass. championship teams and won a state title as a sophomore. He’ll continue his career next season at Assumption with Bianco.

“Definitely incredibly what we got to achieve,” LePage said. “I couldn’t be any more happy with what I’ve done.”

Boys Soccer All-StarsFirst team

James Aas, senior, PVCICS

Joey Bianco, senior, Belchertown

Ryan Belina, junior, Smith Academy

Akira Bix, senior, Amherst

Liam Brown, senior, Granby

Andrew Ciaglo, senior, Hopkins Academy

Francisco Climent, senior, Granby

Preston Coffey, senior, Gateway

Aengus Cox, senior, Amherst

Carter Daughdrill, senior, Easthampton

Race Drobiak, senior, Smith Vocational

Tyler Dubreuil, senior, Frontier

AJ Dybacki, senior, Hampshire

Tyler Evans, senior, South Hadley

Grady Fern, senior, Hampshire

Patrick Fitzgibbons, sophomore, Hopkins Academy

Logan Graves, junior, Smith Academy

Carter Hebert, senior, Easthampton

Jack Holt, junior, Belchertown

Riley Intrator, junior, Smith Academy

Hunter LePage, senior, Belchertown

Devin Niles, sophomore, Frontier

Dominic Mancuso, senior, Belchertown

Aidan Miklasiewicz, sophomore, Hampshire

Brady McDonald, senior, Northampton

Shay O'Neill, senior​​, Belchertown

Rosco Palmer, sophomore, Smith Vocational

John Senn-McNally, junior, Northampton

Payton Sladeski, senior, Frontier

Gabe Zellin, senior, Easthampton

Second team

Charlie Anischik, junior, South Hadley

Matt Bacis, junior, Easthampton

Cairn Bright, senior, Frontier

Max Brown, senior, Granby

Brady Burch, junior, Frontier

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, Smith Vocational

Grayson Marques, senior, Belchertown

Ethan Marowitz, junior, Easthampton

Dylan Martin, senior, Frontier

Owen Miller, eighth grade, Hampshire

Ryan Morin, senior, Gateway

Finn Norsen, sophomore, Northampton

Nate Oldenburg, junior, Belchertown

Jamie Park, junior, Amherst

Colin Quinn, junior, South Hadley

Landon Richard, senior, Gateway

Teddy Scott, freshman, PVCICS

Javier Simms, junior, Easthampton

Abram Speek, senior, PVCICS

Shire Thompson, senior, Amherst

Cameron Zononi, junior, Smith Academy 

Honorable mention

Nick Adzima, senior, Belchertown

Ayden Audet, junior, Gateway

Owen Babb, freshman, Frontier

Seth Boissenault, senior, Smith Vocational

Carson Boscher, senior, Belchertown

Teddy 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’Abbee, junior, Granby

Brady Mendoza, senior, South Hadley

Mateo Navarro, junior, Easthampton

Freddy Orozco Rivas, senior, Holyoke

Charlie Por, junior, Hampshire

Owen Przybyla, junior, Gateway

Fernando Saravia, junior, Frontier

Chanhee Son, sophomore, Frontier

Connor Stiles, junior, Northampton

Thomas Vinagre, senior, Belchertown

Carter White, junior, Granby


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