UNITY - Unity Minor Hockey president Dan Feser reports to the Press-Herald 149 confirmed registered players for this season, with the possibility of a few more from out of town looking for homes to stay at this winter.
“This is remarkable and speaks to the resiliency of the hockey community,” says Feser. He adds that kids want to play, and parents will do whatever necessary to allow them to play.
The Press-Herald learned that, initially, the UMH executive projected to lose between 10 and 20 per cent of their players once the pandemic took over our lives, but the organization is proud of how everyone has soldiered on. He says UMH is dedicated to keeping players on the ice and will do whatever is required in conjunction with Sask. Health ensure every restriction and regulation will be followed and strictly enforced in order to keep hockey in the rink all season.
“The season kicked off, as usual, with 126 players in 3 on 3 and this year we were allowed to add out-of-town players, and there was a dozen of players from the area skating in the tournament,” says Feser
Feser adds, “When the ice shavings settle, we will be icing a full compliment of teams this season with one in U18 and U15. Two teams in U13, U11 and U9. Our initiation program is bursting with young enthusiasm. As for coaches, we have a few. Which is to say we are filled to the brim with hockey coaches and are trying to best utilize the abundance of assets we have. Practices began on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.”
The biggest change for UMH this year was the move to online registration. Spearheaded and implemented through “Herculean efforts” of new treasurer, Katherine McCrea, Feser said the transition has been seamless to everyone but her.
“This executive has never been afraid of hard work as evidenced by the CIS female hockey game between the U of S and Grant MacEwan College last weekend. A few hands did the work of many and game went off to an overwhelmingly positive response.”
Feser tells the Press-Herald, “The executive offers few changes other than the monumental loss of Anita Parker who put a lifetime of work into Unity Minor Hockey and Dwayne Scott who finally retired for real after a dozen failed attempts to walk away.”
The 2021-22 executive is comprised of: president Dan Feser; vice-president Curtis McLean; secretary Michelle Brown McLean; treasurer Katherine McCrea (holding double duty as Initiation co-ordinator); 15U co-ordinator Dave Weber; 13U co-ordinator Aaron Rewerts; 11U co-ordinator Graeme Gieni; 9U co-ordinator Jen Hoffman; rquipment Pat Risling; COVID-19 representative Chad Walz; female hockey representative Shaun O’Brian; and referee in chief Scott Gilbert.
The executive is still looking for someone to fill the role of U18 co-ordinator and an initiation co-ordinator for this season. Feser also gives notice that the president’s chair will be vacated at the end of this season.
UMH is excited to start the hockey season and taking each challenge, many of which are out of their control, as it comes.
“Here’s hoping after a year of mostly skills development the Highway 14 League goes off with a normal season full of games and playoffs. It has been too long,” Feser says.