Illinois West Update: High School Hockey Builds Character

By Brian Meek


On a recent ride home to Park Ridge from an evening practice at Franklin Park, a group of five Maine Junior Varsity Hockey players saved a home when they noticed an unusual fire next to a house. Stopping, they discovered the home was on fire and the occupants unaware.

By dialing 911, alerting the homeowners and helping to put out the fire before it spread, Joe Reda, Harrison Moore, John Spatz, Devin Schultz and Kyle Stinnett have been hailed as local heroes by the Park Ridge Fire Department. Please click HERE to read the full story in the Daily Herald. Please see the full story in the Daily.


Hinsdale Central and Lyons Township will play their annual Winter Classic game at the Bobby Hull outdoor rink in Cicero on December 14th.  Both the JV and Varsity teams will participate. Both teams sell T-Shirts and bracelets before and during the games, hold a puck toss and gather corporate sponsors. Each year during this annual event, the teams select a different charity to benefit from their efforts. The designated charity this is the American Heart Association.

Additionally, both Hinsdale Central and Lyons Township individually support many community efforts to assist where needed. Lyons Township is supporting Lyons Township High School’s Secret Santa to make the holidays a little brighter for children in need, donating funds and gifts so all can enjoy a Merry Christmas.

Hinsdale Central players participated in the SkyRise Chicago Challenge for the second year on November 4th. The boys climbed all 103 floors of the Willis Tower to benefit the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab.  Thirty-two (32) players participated and raised over $10,000.


Over 20,000 pounds of food were collected by members of the Oak Park River Forest High School Hockey Club (Huskies) and the Park District of Oak Park’s Ice Bears Hockey on Saturday, September 22 as part of the Hockey Checks Hunger program. For the past five years these organizations have been joining together to collect donations for the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry in an effort to help fight hunger in the Oak Park and River Forest communities.

Food Pantry Manager Ricardo Garcia said, “The guys really outdid themselves! I’m always impressed by how this group shows up and gets the job done unpacking and organizing donations in an hour. No other group works so efficiently.”

The food drive isn’t a one and done for the Huskies. The JV and Varsity squads share a monthly outing to the Pantry to continue their volunteer efforts throughout the season. Hockey Director Dave Dyson says, “It’s a great way to start the year and a great reminder that we have a real opportunity to make a positive impact in our community.”


Every year, the players from the Warriors help the local community in many ways. This year they have chosen Cal’s Angles. Established in 2007 in memory of Cal Sutter, a 12 year old boy who lost his battle with Leukemia. The annual 12 Days of Christmas Program was created to help families with children fighting cancer under special circumstances during the holiday season. Contributions take care of the entire holiday by providing gifts for each child in the family from their wish list (up to $250 per child), a $150 gift card for their holiday dinner, a Gingerbread House and baked goods. The Warriors collect funds and contribute to this worthy cause. The Warriors also participate in the annual Naperville Noons Lions Turkey Trot. This is an evet benefiting the families in Naperville with hearing and vision difficulties.


Illinois West is currently preparing for our annual outdoor winter games. Each of our 29 clubs will participate in an outdoor game around the New Year’s Holiday. As a league we have held these games going on eight years. The annual outdoor games count as regular season contests. Please click here go to the Illinois West High School Website to get full information on the winter games as well as current standings, schedules and general league information. We wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Categories: High School, Hockey Headlines, Players in the News

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