The number 17; a series of things distinguished by or marked by numerals.
A team; a number of persons forming one of the sides in a game or contest, or a number of persons associated in some joint action.
A family; a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head.
On the surface, those three definitions may seem totally different to the average viewer. But beneath that surface is something much bigger, stronger and important. It is something that combines all three of those definitions into one— unity.
In the sport of hockey the number that one wears tends to lend one purpose, to help identify the player on the ice. But don’t be mistaken, there is much more of a meaning to the number 17 that Justin Bailey wore for the Natick Red and Blue hockey team than that.
The number 17 hockey jersey will forever by symbolic of the player and person that Justin was, and the lasting impression he will have on his teammates, the high school hockey program and the community alike.
Bailey has forever shaped the high school hockey program into being one unit and one family.
A team united to play for and honor a teammate for the rest of their season and lives, because there is no denying that Justin Bailey was the best teammate anyone could ask for...a teammate who just wanted to see his team succeed and was happy with any role he could have played in it.
In a sport of uncertainty such as hockey, there is one thing that will not be left for question when the Red and Blue hockey teams take the ice, and that is for who they are playing.
The number 17, Justin Bailey.
Matt Lodi is the team manager for the NHS hockey team.