The recent success of Staples’ goalkeepers – 3-year starter James Hickok has already committed to Dartmouth; state champion winner Michael McCarthy is playing at Washington University, and Adam Liu at Middlebury College — is no surprise.
The Wreckers are among a very few high school programs in the country with a dedicated goalkeeper coach. Paul Melitsanopoulos was the first person in that role. For the past 4 years Staples has benefited enormously from the vast experience, enormous wisdom and great energy of Tom Henske.
The 3-time national champion at the University of Virginia – where he succeeded Tony Meola – brings tremendous passion and pride to Wrecker keepers.
Now – in recognition of the great goalkeeping tradition begun in 1958 by Albie Loeffler (himself a former University of Connecticut keeper) with George Scott, and continuing for over 5 decades with legends like Shane Kennedy, Bob Simonton, Alex Deegan, Zack Randel, Wes Martino and Dave Sharpe (to name only a very few) — Staples can legitimately call itself “Goalkeeper University.”
Tom gives keepers a college-level education in every aspect of the game. He trains them mentally and psychologically, as well as physically. He takes copious notes during practices and matches, and breaks down each session with the keepers. He shares video with them. He designs off-season workouts. He works on communication – even public speaking skills.
“I don’t think there’s a keeper coach in the country who compares with Tom,” says head coach Dan Woog. “And that includes the absolute highest levels of the game. If a keeper commits to Tom, he will help that young man not only reach his potential, but go far beyond anything he ever thought possible. It’s a long process – but Tom is committed to the long run. He has given our entire program a valuable gift, and we are far better for it.”
One of Tom’s newest initiatives is “Staples Keeper Nation.” Through periodic emails, he’ll share Staples keeper news, videos and behind-the-scenes insights with former Staples goalies. If you’re a keeper and would like to be on his list, contact Tom directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.