H-F Hockey Team Iced Out- A Series of Bad Circumstances


Jack Keigher

Putting in the cooling pipes at the main ice rink

Over the summer, the H-F ice hockey team went into shambles.  Due to the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District ice rink being shut down for a whole makeover, and the H-F Vikings hockey league, the Hayes Suburban League, being shut down, as well as having a small amount of players on the roster, they are now left with no team.

In this case, it was a series of bad circumstances. In late November of 2021, the H-F Park District ice rink was closed due to their freezer being busted, and the ice was melting.  

Currently, the ice rink is in the process of being refurbished with brand new ice, for both the studio rink, main rink, and brand new boards.  

Matthew Lyke, the athletic director, is optimistic about the timely finishing of the rink.

 ¨The timeline was a tentative timeline for the completion of the project in January and/or February.¨ Lyke said.

The January and February finishing date is still on time and running smoothly.

During the summer, Wayne Perry, head coach of the varsity hockey team was informed that The Hayes Suburban League was being shut down and that the team would have no league to play in.

“The Hayes Suburban League has been an opportunity for any team to come in and play. I don’t know where that state is, I know leagues come back once a while but I don’t have a definite answer if they will come back.¨ Perry said. 

The team was faced with a challenge; whether or not there was a league to play in, and if not, could the skaters play somewhere else in the meantime? 

Junior Anthony Mancha played both his freshman and sophomore year with the Vikings. He decided he still wanted to play hockey this year, so he landed on playing with the Cobras alongside junior Luke Romans, and senior Makenzie Russell

¨ I enjoy playing with the Cobras but it is still sad that I had to leave HF because I’ve been playing there for as long as I can remember. My goals for this year are the same as every year, get better as a player and as a team and win the championship, and maybe even have the team rank in state,¨ Mancha said. 

The coaches and the athletic director are now looking into the future and how to reshape the program to make it stronger so this will not happen again. 

¨ In order to build the foundation from the bottom up, we need to concentrate our efforts on that program and build it up with a number of youth in our community because those are our future high school hockey players,¨ Lyke said. 

As of right now, there is no other information on if there will be a H-F Vikings hockey team during the 2023-2024 season – but everyone, including the athletic director, coaches, and players are hoping for the best.