FHN Doesn’t Have a Hockey Team This Year, Players had to Find New Teams in the Metro Area


Credit to Heidi Huff

Junior Alex Diemer holds a hockey stick during practice. Diemer plays for Holt hockey team and has been playing hockey for 10 years. So far his team is 1st in the division and has won 4 out of 7 games. One thing that has inspired Diemer to play hockey was his mom, who has strongly influenced him to play hockey.

Some would think with the amount of students, around 1,650 at North, more than nine players would actually show up for tryouts to play a season of hockey for the current year. At least 16 or 17 players are needed to have a hockey team to begin with and with not enough students wanting to try out and play this year, that leaves the people wanting to play for North out of a season.

“There were some really good kids there and there were some seniors there that would have wanted [to play] and would be nice to finish playing for their own high school,” former FHN hockey coach Jim Leahy said. “I know kids like to play for their own high school and it’s just a shame that it didn’t work out.”  

With FHN athletes out of a hockey season, players had to come up with alternative ways to get somewhat of a season they had hoped and planned for this year. Many students ended up playing hockey for different schools but were not given a choice on which school they got to play on. Players seasons could go from just not playing and hoping for a season next year, playing for a different school around the district or just playing for their own club team. 

“Yeah I like [playing for the United High School Girls Hockey team] but it’s definitely the same struggle every year if you want to play girls hockey, it’s thrown together and you don’t really know the output of it,” senior Tommie Schaljo said. “Nerve racking, I guess [since] you don’t really know how long it’s gonna last.” 

Schaljo was not able to play for a different school in the district so she decided to start playing for the club team United High School Girls Hockey team. Having no true high school hockey team this year for Schaljo has affected her because she will not have a normal high school hockey season like most seniors usually have. She is enjoying playing for her other team but she really misses Norths team and enjoyed the competitiveness of playing with the boys. The fact that she has been playing with and for North for the past three years, made it difficult for her to fully enjoy a season without them.

One of the main things Schaljo is upset about is the fact that she will not be able to have a normal senior night that she had been waiting for. Senior nights are always a great sendoff and a way to close out a high school sports career. Schaljo’s team is throwing a senior night so she can have the same feel as the North hockey team and what North would have done. But it’s not the same and it’s the closest she can get.

“It was a lot of fun going to the games and seeing our own team play and now we can’t which sucks,” sophomore Weston Peck said. 

Having no team is going to affect the players but hockey games were also a place for students who don’t play but enjoy watching, a chance to come watch and cheer on the players. Students who used to go to games are unhappy with the turnout and how there is no North team. Yet the overall knowledge is that if there is a team next year, not only would the players be joyful to have a school team to play on but the fans would also enjoy the fact that there would be a team to go watch and cheer on. 

“If they could come up with enough players, I would coach them again,” Leahy said. 

For students who are interested in playing hockey but don’t really know where to start, Leahy has some tips for how students might be able to have a team next year. Leahy suggests going to the St. Peters Youth Hockey Organization to start playing with them first. In addition, if a student really wants to start playing right away for the North hockey team, they should get some skating practice in and possibly find a summer team to join. 

“I would say it’s a challenge to start when you’re older but don’t let it hold you back,” Schaljo said. “I’ve seen kids that started their freshman year and they are amazing by the second or third year.”