On Wednesday night, the Westborough High School hockey team and its fans paid tribute to one of its own.
Prior to the Rangers hockey game against visiting Oakmont Regional at the North Star Youth Forum, the squad held a moment of silence in remembrance of Shawn Marks.
Wednesday night marked the tenth anniversary of that horrific night.
“I think Shawn represents a real passion for the sport of hockey and working hard and bringing a strong work ethic,” said Westborough Amateur Hockey Association president Sue Rolfe. “One of the things we do is we honor a graduating senior with a $500 scholarship in Shawn’s name. These kids that play now know how important he was to this program.”
Following Mark’s death, his family made a generous donation to the Westborough High School hockey program that allowed the purchase of new uniforms and equipment. All three levels, the varsity, junior varsity and middle school teams have worn a small patch with the letters “ZO” on their jerseys. “ZO” was Marks’ nickname given to him during his playing days.
Area residents in attendance chimed in on the event and Mark’s place in the Rangers’ hockey history.
“I moved down here from Vermont five years ago, but I’ve heard the story a few times,” said Westborough resident Larry Mulder. “From what I’ve been told, Mark was truly respected and he was a well-liked young man. It’s great they are keeping his spirit alive.”
Westborough head coach Tom Temple is now in his second season at the helm for the Rangers after previously coaching at Hudson Catholic. Temple is well aware of the impact the Marks name has on his program.
“The shirts we wore tonight were the retro jerseys. We brought out the old shirts for the game,” said a smiling Temple after Wednesday night’s game. “We brought the shirts out of the archives and the kids wore them to school in remembrance of Shawn.”
Prior to the start of the season, the program purchased new hockey jerseys and the “Zo” patches had yet to be sewn on so Temple and his staff made the decision to go with the older jerseys on this special night.
“His memory lives on. These kids didn’t know him personally, but it’s certainly a level of hockey pride,” said Temple. “I spoke with some of Zo’s old teammates and they remain a close group. These kids will develop that same type of bond with their teammates.”
As for the game itself, the Rangers honored Marks the best way they knew how, with a win. Westborough notched a 3-2 triumph over the Spartans to inch within a point of a district playoff berth, improving to 9-8-1 on the season.
“We’re just happy we could go out there and honor him with a win. He meant a lot to the program,” said Westborough senior goalie Ryan Venditti who made 23 saves in Wednesday night’s win.
“It’s a big win and an important two points in the standings so it was a great night.”
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