Minuteman Flames in the News

MetroWest Daily News - Sports Section, March 17, 2004

In need of a change

James Solon played his freshman and sophomore years at Acton-Boxboro Regional High and admits he had become way too familiar with the principal's office. Bumped head, huh? "You could say that," Solon says.

The hockey went well though. Alternating between defense and forward, he led the team in goals his sophomore year. But he yearned to be somewhere else and enrolled at Cushing Academy, repeating his sophomore year and spending three years in all.

"They were great years," says Solon. Cushing went 46-0 his junior year before losing to St. Sebastian's 1-0 in the New England prep school finals.

Cushing appealed to Solon because "they were sending a lot of players to Division I. It had the reputation that if you wanted to further your hockey career it was the school to go to. But I hadn't planned on going there (after A-B), it kind of came out of the blue."

It turned out that Cushing's coach, Steve Jacobs, the former Hudson High star, had been Solon's coach when he played for the Minuteman Flames of the Metro League. After scoring 30 goals his senior year, college recruiters took note.

"I wanted to go to a big school," says Solon. He liked what he heard from Minuteman coach Don Cahoon. "The way he put it to me was you get what you work for. I liked that a lot."

What he didn't like was the torn muscle and cartilage in the rib cage he suffered against Boston College on the first shift of his first game. He was out 2 weeks. When he returned, he suffered a shoulder injury. He thinks he might have been trying to protect the previous injury.

"I wasn't myself out there," says Solon. "I probably came back too quick."

He returned from the shoulder injury and played the remainder of the season in pain. "But you take the hits and checks," he says.

Solon, a 5-foot-10, 187-pound center, has four goals and eight assists after overcoming an ankle infection. "Our team's really coming together. It works hard. This team busts its ass."

Cahoon says Solon is "a real character, one of the best-known male athletes on campus."

On the ice, he's all business. "He's a good checker and skater," says Cahoon.