In his earliest years, Frank Ireland hated hockey, or so he’s been told by his parents, Tracey Messina and Frank. He certainly doesn’t recall feeling that way.
In fact, the now-20-year-old forward from Longmeadow, Mass., loves the sport so much that he’s leaving his cozy corner of the country in New England and traveling to Texas to suit up for the Lone Star Brahmas in the North American Hockey League this season.
It’s the latest stop in his hockey journey, which until now mostly has been spent close to home.
Following in the footsteps of his father, who played for Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Mass., and then for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (formerly North Adams State College), Ireland started to play competitively once his fervor for hockey started to rise. After his initial steps on the ice at 3 years old, he suited up for the Tri-County Saints, and he later skated for the Boston Bandits, Boston Junior Terriers and Junior Bruins.
This article appeared in the print edition of the September/October 2021 New England Hockey Journal magazine.