In hockey, being able to stop and start quickly is essential if you want to succeed on the ice. In this on-again, off-again pandemic season, it also has been essential off the ice.
The season has tested all of us—players, coaches, parents, volunteers—in ways we never imagined. But I am proud of the way our organization has responded.
Players showed up at practice ready to work hard without knowing when they’d be able to test themselves against outside competition. Coaches showed flexibility and patience and kept practices interesting and fresh. Parents offered their players encouragement and support. Board members and managers mastered the art of the pivot amid ever-changing circumstances, including game cancellations and shifting COVID-19 restrictions.
Thank you to everyone involved in Evanston High School Hockey who made the season possible. It was frustrating for all of us at times, but it worked out in the end.
I think I speak for everyone by saying I’m looking forward to a spring season that feels a little more typical. For many of us, the last several weeks have been hectic to say the least, with an especially full calendar of games to make up for lost time. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to take a deep breath during spring break and enjoy a week away from hockey. Recharge your batteries and come back with fresh legs, a clear mind and an eagerness to get back to work. I know I will.
Presidents Message: An Unforgettable Season & Look Ahead
What a whirlwind of a season! Even with the fits and starts, we managed to get our high school teams on the ice for hundreds of hours for games and indoor and outdoor practices. And with a season that stretched an extra four weeks from our typical last day, in some strange way it has almost felt like the season would never end.
But, like all things worth their weight in hockey gold, the fall/winter 2020-21 season is coming to a close.
Before we officially close the books, we want to share a few quick updates. We will be sharing an end-of-season survey for parents and players once the season ends. This feedback allows the board to evaluate additional ways to further improve the program and the experience for all players. We encourage everyone to provide feedback.
While Covid-limitations will not allow for a program-wide gathering to celebrate the season, we are looking at the possibility of team-specific celebrations. Stay tuned for more info on that as well as collecting your player’s game jerseys.
Now, looking ahead. The board has been actively working with high school Hockey Director Del Morris to put in place a high school spring program that combines skills and fun. If your player hasn’t yet signed up, we encourage you to do so soon. Tryouts start on March 23; see all the details and register by clicking here.
In the coming weeks and months, we will also be sharing exciting news about new jerseys for our players to don in the fall, which we’re hoping will resemble the fall seasons of past. The board is currently evaluating design options, and will be sharing more details as they become available.
The board has also renewed the program’s partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance for the 2021/2022 season. Our partnership next season will likely include an early season workshop for all high school players. EHSH coaches attended two workshops this season.
Speaking of the board, we’d like to thank our retiring board members and welcome our newest board members. Evanston High School Hockey is an all-volunteer board; we couldn’t do it without these dedicated members. Read more about them by clicking here.
Don’t forget that we share a lot of information about our club via our social channels. Follow Evanston High School Hockey on Instagram (@evanstonhshockey), Facebook (@evanstonhshockey and @EvanstonGirlsVarsityHockey) and Twitter (@EvanstonHigh). And be sure to check out photos from our recent Senior Night – where we celebrated our graduating players – and our 7th & 8th Grade Skate with HS Coaches – where we welcomed our future graduating players. We are proud of all of our Wildkits past, present and future!
Finally, we want to thank all of our families, coaches and fans for supporting our organization and players throughout this season. There is no doubt that we’ll be talking about it for years to come. And while the world is not quite where it was pre-Covid, Evanston High School Hockey continues to look ahead and plan for the future.
If this were a typical year, we’d be getting ready right about now for the final push of the regular season and playoffs. Even though this past year has been anything but typical, we still find ourselves in this moment forging ahead to find new opportunities to play hockey.
And it appears that there could be some good news ahead with the Illinois Department of Health’s new guidance that could make it possible for games to return to Robert Crown. Like you, we are watching it closely and will be sharing any updates as soon as we receive them. We also want to emphasize that if the regular season begins, the expectation is that all players prioritize being back on the ice for practices and games based on each family’s comfort level.
Focusing on safety has always been our goal, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to offer hockey opportunities while keeping that goal at the forefront. As such, we’re thrilled that high schoolers are back on the ice at Robert Crown for team practices.
In other good news, we are actively planning a recognition for our seniors. If you have ideas or are interested in helping, please reach out to board member Mike Kuhn (
) who is leading this effort.
We’d also like to welcome our rising 9th grade families who are receiving this HS newsletter for the first time. As you may know, current 8th graders will be eligible to play high school hockey in the spring. Even though we don’t have a confirmed, definitive date of when the current HS season ends and the spring begins, we remain committed to keeping you informed of relevant details. Stay tuned for information on a special event – Skate with the HS Coaches – that will be taking place soon. It’s an opportunity for our HS coaches to get to know current 7th and 8th graders who are interested in playing high school hockey.
We can’t thank our players, families, coaches, hockey director and board members enough for going on this journey with us. And what a journey it has been! Now is the time for others to step up and be part of the decision-making process for the future. We are seeking new board members to join the all-volunteer HS board. Specifically, we’re looking for people with technical skills to lead our tech and digital needs and a girl’s hockey representative, and generally we’re looking for people with enthusiasm and commitment to support a great high school organization. Click here to fill out the application or reach out to us with questions (
Finally, please continue following public health and safety guidelines, including wearing masks, washing hands and socially distancing. Let’s keep our community safe so we can play more hockey. Go Kits!
Evanston High School Hockey approves new mission statement
The Evanston High School Hockey board recently approved a mission statement for the high school program, another step in its effort to build its own identity under the Evanston Hockey umbrella.
The new statement embraces many of the same goals and values stressed in the Evanston Youth Hockey Association mission statement while recognizing the different expectations that come with playing at the high-school level. It reads as follows:
The mission of Evanston HS Hockey (EHSH) is to provide boys and girls attending Evanston Township High School (and neighboring communities, where applicable) the opportunity to play competitive high school-level hockey. EHSH is a diverse program that is rooted in skills development, sportsmanship, outstanding and positive coaching, leadership skills, strong character development and camaraderie. While the program is competitive and ambition-filled, this approach ensures our Student Athletes experience a positive, inclusive environment that will have lasting impact beyond their years as EHSH Wildkits.
EHSH became a separate legal entity from EYHA in 2019, but the two programs and the Evanston Junior Wildkits still work closely together to provide the best possible experience for young players who move up through Evanston Hockey.
As Evanston High School Hockey looks ahead to the 2021-2022 season, the program is seeking volunteers to join its board. Each year, the board elects new officers and members, which comprise volunteers a two-year term. Terms may be renewed once.
The board oversees the administration of the program and is a great way to give back to the program that gives so much to our children. We encourage everyone to consider filling out a form as we look to our families to help make our program better and better every year.
Click here to fill out the nomination form. Deadline to submit: Feb. 9
Presidents message: An eventful-and thankful-high school season
Presidents Message: An Eventful -- and Thankful -- High School Season
In a year of many unknowns, there is one thing we know for sure: We are thankful for our families and coaches who have entrusted us and the members of the high school board to be flexible as we navigate this interesting time along with all of you.
For those of you who don’t know us, we are the co-presidents of the Evanston High School Hockey (EHSH) board. Like you, we too have children in the high school program, and we take our responsibility seriously to continuously evaluate how we can offer a positive athletic experience to our members while keeping safety protocols at the forefront and while following all health and safety guidelines.
Although navigating and evaluating options to play hockey safely during a pandemic has been our focus this season, believe it or not, EHSH has also been working on other efforts as we continue administering the program. Many of these are highlighted in this newsletter.
• Read about our inaugural pulse survey. We want to thank everyone who took the time to provide their feedback.
• Don’t forget about office hours. While these may not be the same as we remember during our college days, with technology and social distancing, our office hours give families a chance to set up time with our Hockey Director Del Morris to talk about their player and the program. Email
to set up a time.
• Remember that each team has a dedicated board liaison. We enhanced this program to give families additional opportunities to provide feedback throughout the season about their experiences. Not sure who yours is? Reach out to
to find out.
• Ask your coaches about their experience with Positive Coaching Alliance. The board approved two PCA workshops with high school coaches this season – one took place at the start of the season and another is coming up soon. There are great resources for parents too; check them out here.
• Be on the lookout for mid-season player evaluations. Hockey Director Del has charged the high school coaches with getting mid-season player evaluations to everyone ahead of the holiday break.
• Recognize your student-athletes for being just that: student-athletes. We commend them for balancing a challenging remote learning environment with athletics. For some, one sport isn’t enough. Read about Varsity player Campbell Wagener to learn more about one of our student-athletes. Tell us about your student-athlete! Email their story to
so we can feature them in an upcoming newsletter.
Finally, we can’t say this enough. Thank you. Thank you to our families, to our coaches, to our board members and everyone associated with EHSH who supports the program. We wish you a wonderful, safe and healthy time with your family during this holiday season.
Evanston High School Hockey