Marlborough High School hockey players teaching autistic classmates how to ice skate

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - Marlborough High School hockey players are forming new friendships and unbreakable bonds by coming together to teach two of their autistic classmates how to ice skate.

Twin brothers Matthew and Benjamin Kastetski, who are living with autism, had been learning work skills at a local hockey rink when they saw people skating around and wanted to give it a shot.

After hearing about their wishes, varsity hockey players Tino Pizzarella, Ryan Cronin, and Halle McCabe came up with a game plan to teach them the ways of the ice.

What happened next was “a miracle on ice” of sorts.

“It was just an opportunity for them to be the same as everyone else,” McCabe said.

Their common love of skating brought them together.

“They don’t have a disability in my eyes,” Cronin said. “They’re just one of the boys.”

Every Friday the hockey players lace the brothers’ skates, escort them onto the ice, teach them how to skate, and pick them up when they fall.

“How they react is worth everything and just how they look at you. Their smile just brings joy to everybody around them,” Pizzarella said.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association awarded the seniors for their community service but that recognition isn’t why they do it.

“I say ‘hey’ to them when I see them in the halls. They love seeing me,” Cronin said. “They give me hugs sometimes in the hallways.”

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