NORTON - Norton High School has a new hockey team, and thanks to an Eagle Scout project, they have a new locker room as well.
The Foxboro Sports Center - where the Lancers play their home games - donated a locker room to the new team, but it was going to take some work to transform it into a space the players could call their own.
That's when Norton High School junior Troy Parker, a defenseman for the team, stepped in.
Parker, 16, tackled the job for his Eagle Scout project, leading a team of fellow Scouts, teammates, parents and other volunteers to paint the walls and construct the interior shelving of the locker room.
"There were teammates, friends, other Scouts, volunteers, parents, a whole host of people," he said.
Parker said he got the idea for the project from Rick Palin, president of the Norton Hockey Organization. From there, he started the process of getting the project approved.
"It was a long process," Parker said. "I had to fill out the notebook, send it in for approval, they sent it back with revisions and I revised it and sent it back."
Parker said he got the ball rolling in early September, was approved in mid-October and started work in November.
Parker and his team of volunteers taped and painted the walls purple, white and black in honor of Norton's team colors before taking on the task of building the shelving.
After gathering the lumber and figuring out the measurements, Parker said one of the hockey dads, a custom-cabinet maker, made the cuts. From there, the group assembled the cubes in groups of four in Parker's garage before transporting the shelving to the sports center to be mounted.
"When we mounted them all, we had a good 10 or 20 drills going in here so it got pretty loud," he said. "After that it was just cleaning out the sawdust."
The shelving was hung on Dec. 15, less than a week before the team's home opener.
"I was hoping to get it done before the first game and I just made it," he said.
One of the most challenging aspects of the project for Parker, who still has a few merit badges to earn before he attains the rank of Eagle Scout, was taking on an administrative role and delegating tasks.
"You're supposed to be more of an administrator and I wanted to get in and do things," he said.
While Parker said being the leader was a challenge for him, head coach Kyle Heagney praised Parker for his work and leadership during the project.
"Troy has been exceptional at leading the rest of the team and the collaboration of parents," he said. "Troy was the man that made it happen."
If Parker hadn't taken the project on as his Eagle Scout project, Heagney said they would have needed to raise funds and it would have been a burden to the budget.
"It worked well for him and it worked well for the hockey team," he said.
Heagney also pitched in on the work, as he and another local resident, Kevin Gass, constructed the bottom benches that line the walls and correspond to the shelving that Parker constructed.
In addition to having storage in the shelving that Parker constructed above, each player will have storage underneath the bench.
"Each kid has a top and a bottom and they don't have to truck all their equipment around," Heagney said.
Heagney said the locker room is an important place where the team builds chemistry and he's pleased with the end result.
"Troy did a marvelous job," said Heagney. "I can't praise him enough for how well he did."
While Parker and his teammates will be able to enjoy the new room, so will future generations of Norton Hockey.
"Troy can look back, see his accomplishment and have others enjoy it," Heagney said.
PAIGE ALLEN covers Norton for The Sun Chronicle. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 508-236-0336, and followed on Twitter @SCNortonMa.