You have to give the hockey parents of Woodstock and its surrounding area a huge amount of credit.
Despite all of the trials and tribulations associated with the rinks previous closing and financial problems a successful non-profit organization was formed that will produce a new inline hockey league.
Several years ago the rink was thriving with youth inline players and had hockey equipment, and a nice outdoor inline rink in addition to volunteers. Then when several financial problems surfaced the rink was forced to discontinue operation until all of the legal and financial issues were settled.
The stoppage could have killed youth hockey in Woodstock, but out of the ashes raised the CHILL (Cherokee Hockey inline League).
The CHILL includes three different divisions based on skill level.
The AHL coached by Jeff Vonderhort and Britt Buckley includes the Phantoms, Red Barons, Ice Caps, and the Iguana’s.
The IHL teams coached by Ryan Dubsky, and Phil Eberly are the Pink Panthers (girls squad), the Pumas, Lynx, and Bengals and the ECHL coached by Paul Driver, Keith Weber, Rob Bowman, and Andy Loeb features the Hammerheads, Barracudas and Tritons.
The Woodstock feat is even more phenomenal if you consider the obvious organization including the CHILL website and the team rosters, fundraising plans and colorful names.
Also impressive is the caliber of some coaches including former Minnesota native Paul Driver who once was a standout ice hockey player in his own right.
Located behind the Cherokee Recreation Center on Mainstreet in Woodstock, Georgia league play is about to begin and team practices have begun.
Volunteers Still Needed: This being a non-profit, volunteer based organization, the league will depend on volunteers to help in all aspects of the hockey program. From registration, to concessions, to league coordination, to rink preparation. And they are desperately looking for more people to step up and lend a helping hand in the following areas:
1.Rink cleaning/drying - on days that there has been rain or dew or any type of moisture, the rink will most likely need to be dried early Saturday mornings. The league needs at least 5-8 people that can help accomplish the drying or cleaning of the rink. If there is no rain coming down and it is possible to practice or play games as we have scheduled, it is crucial that we all work together to get the rink in playable condition.
2.Concession stand help- Vic Cappello Feldman https://www.facebook.com/ will run the concession stand and needs a few people to help with its operation during games and possibly practices.
3.Referees- There are 4 games on Saturdays that need 2 referees each and 1 game on Monday and Tuesday nights that need a more experienced ref. If you can skate and are fairly familiar with the game, you can learn to be a ref and we definitely need more to help out. You must be at least 16 years old and able to provide yourself with transportation to the games.
4.Team parent- Each team will need a team parent to help coordinate post-game snacks, as well as facilitate any changes to the schedule or communication to the other parents of the team players. Please let your coach know if you are able to do this for your team.
Matt Hackett Hockey Director said:
ONE FINAL IMPORTANT NOTES a great deal of time, effort and energy was spent sorting through and organizing all of the loaner equipment that is in the equipment shed. IF you borrow any piece of equipment please sanitize it and return it to its proper place when you are done using it. There are bins labeled for each specific piece of equipment (elbow pads, shin pads, girdles, etc.) helmets and skates go on the shelf, and goalie equipment has its place as well. There have been multiple people that borrowed equipment and upon returning it throw it in a big pile in the middle of the floor or just toss it in any of the bins.
Most ice hockey players in the Atlanta area tend to start out as inline players and several have advanced to AAA elite level players and beyond. Inline hockey has provided several youth players their start and that is one of the primary reasons that Inline hockey is so very important to southern hockey advancement which starts at the inline level.
The newly formed Woodstock non-profit organizations includes Jeff Murchison (President), Phil Eberly ( Vice President), Matt Hackett (Hockey Director), Ken and Mary Scott(Treasurer), and April Trent ( Secretary).