Alexa Hingston was a standout at every point in her ice hockey career.
From her days skating on boys teams in the Charlestown Youth Hockey Association to her training with the nationally-acclaimed Assabet Valley girls’ program out of Concord.
There were also her All-Scholastic years at Austin Prep, which gave way to her brilliant college career that culminated with a two-year captainship at St. Anselm.
At all stops, Hingston was a star with a capital ‘S’ and a hard-working, team-first player whom teammates admired at every level.
A 5-foot-4-inch defenseman and captain at Austin Prep, Hingston led her team to the state finals in her senior year (2007). The Cougars fell just shy of a state title, losing 2-0 in the championship game at Harvard’s Bright Center. Hingston was considered one of the top high school players in Massachusetts.
The winning and individual honors continued at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. She was team captain in her junior and senior seasons and an All-ECAC selection. She received her degree in Sociology, and is currently a teacher at the Eliot School in the North End – where she teaches so many young Charlestown kids as well.
Hingston, daughter of Jimmy and Andrea Hingston, is now passing on all that knowledge and experience to her players in the Reading High School girls hockey program. She is in her second season in Reading, and her Lady Rockets are again heading to the Division 1 State Tournament.
Prior to taking the position at Reading High, Hingston, 29, had returned to Austin Prep and served as an assistant coach in four seasons, winning a state title in 2015.
Fond memories of
Charlestown youth sports
Growing up in Charlestown, Hingston spread out her athletic talents among multiple youth programs. In addition to her youth hockey career where she credits such coaches as John Lyons and Dale Gillis for her earlydevelopment as a player, Hingston played in the Charlestown Youth Lacrosse and Charlestown Little League organizations.
At Austin Prep, Hingston chose to focus on ice hockey while continuing her affiliation with Charlestown Youth Lacrosse.
“Hockey was in my family and it was something my parents signed me up for,” said Hingston. “My mother told me I didn’t like it when I first started, but I grew to really like it. I guess I loved being on a team and playing in different tournaments. I was fortunate when I was with Assabet to travel to different states and different countries to play hockey. Meeting new friends from all over was pretty cool.”
Hingston was a key player on four national championship teams with Assabet, including the U-12 team that won the crown in Anchorage, Alaska. Her parents traveled to Alaska for the tournament.
“I’m grateful to my parents for all their support,” said Hingston. “There were a lot of early-morning practices and rides to rinks all over the state. They’ve supported me the whole way.”
A coaching career beckoned
Following her graduation from St. Anselm, she began coaching for the Massachusetts Spitfires elite program.
“The next year I got a phone call to coach at Austin Prep and I started there,” said Hingston. “Soon after that, I was asked to help coach the Middlesex Islanders and I still coach a U-16 and U-12 in that program.”
In a surprise to the high school hockey world, Hingston’s first Reading High team qualified for the State Tournament, though it was ousted in the first round.
“I think I was getting accustomed to the new team and new town and they were getting accustomed to me,” said Hingston. “Overall I thought it was a pretty good season.”
This year’s Reading team is emerging as a contender in Division 1.
“We have a lot of work still be done,” said Hingston. “I have six seniors and five of them are our top forwards, so we have strong leadership.”
Hingston brought in two assistant coaches with Charlestown connections to her staff. Catherine Taglilatela, who played at Arlington Catholic and is a teacher at Reading High School, and Kendall Junta, a former captain of the Reading High School team and Hingston’s teammate at St. Anselm, are also carrying on the Townie sports tradition in the program.
“There’s a real Townie connection here,” said Hingston. That connection will show come playoff time when the Townie ladies look to take their charges deep into the state ice hockey tournament.