Fri. 1/29/21--updated Sat. 1/30/21
Lakes Region Hoping to Play
The Lakes Region Conference, starting this weekend, will be attempting to kick off a two-month season, with each of the eight member schools playing a self-contained schedule consisting of weekend home-and-home series running through Fri.-Sat. March 20-21.
As with so much this season, they'll have to wing it as circumstances require.
This weekend, New Hampton and Brewster were scheduled to face off against each other, but Covid-19 protocols have caused both games to be cancelled. Kimball Union and Holderness were also scheduled to play this weekend, but their games are cancelled, too. KUA coach Tim Whitehead said the Wildcats are willing to play another Lakes Region team this weekend, and New Hampton is their only option. We'll let you know if that happens.
The other four schools -- Proctor, St. Paul's, Tilton, and Vermont Academy -- are scheduled to start Friday. Feb. 5th.
Due to the pandemic, no one -- including parents -- is allowed to come to the leagues' games. (And, yes, they are games, not scrimmages, though the distinction is academic at best.)
All league games will be live-streamed on schools' websites.
Most Lakes Region teams have uploaded their schedules and rosters to USHR, or will by next weekend -- hopefully!
Update 1/30/21 -- KUA and New Hampton were unable to play this weekend, so opening day for the Lakes Region has been pushed back to Friday, Feb. 5th.
Giving Thanks, 2020-Style
As lousy as 2020 has been for most people around the world, there are still things to be thankful for. Our list includes...
-- The Players. Well, of course. They -- and only they -- can truly understand what it's like to play hockey in the middle of a pandemic, to say nothing of going to school, trying to have a social life, helping teammates and classmates... it's a hell of a lot. Thank you, guys. Stay safe, and we hope -- fingers crossed -- to see you in action after this long Thanksgiving/Christmas break.
-- The Coaches. What can we say? Take what they do in a normal year and multiply it exponentially. That's what coaches are up against this year as they balance keeping you as safe as possible while also working to make sure your development as a player continues. And a shout-out also goes to the athletic directors, who have the brain-melting job of constantly monitoring Covid-19 outbreaks, following local guidelines, and shaping schedules for dozens of sports.
-- The Front-Line Workers. The doctors, EMTs, nurses, health aides, food bank volunteers, and so many others who have put themselves in harm's way to save lives. With this current surge, many are being pushed to the breaking point. They are hurting. Many have gotten sick and died, often because they lacked the PPE and other equipment needed to stay safe. We don't know how they can be thanked enough.
-- The Scientists and Researchers. We now have at least two vaccines out there offering a potential path out this mess. We just have to keep our eyes on the prize. That means hanging on a bit longer.
-- You. Thank you for keeping your subscription to USHR. We're a small business, and really appreciate the support. You've enabled us to reach this, our 25th year of existence. Thank you. Beyond that, we are thankful for each and every one of you, both in and outside of the game, for graces that may seem small, but add up to something great. With you, we can get life -- and hockey -- back to some semblance of what it was like in the 'before times.' Stay positive. We have no other choice.
Thanksgiving Day, 2020
Plenty of Question Marks
We're ready to get going on the 2020-21 season, even if, like everyone living through this global pandemic, we're not sure how we're going to pull it all off. We'll be gathering the news as usual, but will likely face restrictions, self-imposed or not, when it comes to doing it face-to-face. As such, we'll be relying more than ever on coaches and others in the hockey community to help us get solid information.
Speaking of coaches, we're heartened by how much work they've done to make this as good an experience as possible for the kids. Having on-campus ice in the fall was huge. We've always felt that being on-ice as a team for daily practices, with weekend scrimmages, is a terrific model for player development in autumn.
Special credit goes to the players. It's difficult for them to avoid thinking about what they are missing. It's human nature. Dealing with uncertainty is hard. They want to compete. But difficult times offer their own rewards, such as the opportunity for every single player to become a leader, to be responsible for the safety of his teammates, and to develop the mental toughness and humility for what lays ahead, in both sports and life. In that reespect, it could be a great season.