Boys Hockey Captains Surprise 7 Year Old Flag Bearer With Gifts Following MIAA Denial

David Creed •

Lyla Larivee
The Nantucket boys hockey team's captains surprised 7 year old flag bearer Lyla Larivee with gifts to show support after the MIAA denied her the ability to lead the team onto the ice during their state quarterfinal game earlier this month.

With the winter sports season in the rearview mirror, a feel-good moment for the Nantucket boys hockey team and their six seniors took place Monday night as they put a bow on their high school hockey careers by showing support to the 7 year old flag bearer denied by the MIAA to lead the team onto the ice during the state quarterfinal game earlier this month.

As many are aware by now, the MIAA refused 7 year old “flag girl” Lyla Larivee the opportunity to lead the Whalers onto the ice at the Gallo Arena before their state quarterfinal game earlier this month because of “insurance issues.” It is something she has done every game for the past two years while waving a Whaler Pride flag. We were told that she was devastated and later found hiding in the back corner behind the stands visibly upset after receiving the news because she “felt like she did something wrong.”

The Whalers spent time before the game, during the intermissions of that game, and postgame supporting her while also trying to cope with their season and hockey careers being over at the same time. This also took place after the year-long suspension to their second leading scorer Braden Knapp that became statewide news.

The support for Lyla continued Monday night. During their hockey awards night, the seniors put together a surprise that completely shocked her. They gave Lyla a personalized jersey with her Nor’Easters Hockey number on it (which was #2 - same as Braden Knapps oddly enough) as well as her name. They also gifted her with a senior photo personalized to her.

Senior and Lyla
From left to right: Braden Knapp, Ryan Davis, Michael Culkins, Colby O’Keefe, Griffin Starr. Lyla Larivee in the front. Senior Hunter Strojny not pictured.

Speaking to one of the hockey parents afterwards, she said the motive behind it was that “these boys love her like a little sister and wanted to let Lyla know how much she is a part of the team.”

The seniors also signed the jersey with their names, numbers, and their graduation year. They also gave Lyla the silver sharpie to allow the next graduating seniors to sign her jersey as well.

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