Postponed Tryouts Didn’t Dampen Enthusiasm at Strongsville Youth Hockey Club“Based on some of that feedback, we altered some of our summer ice program,” Wahl said. “We normally run a summer ice program where we invite all the kids out. We decided this year might be too many kids on the ice at once, so we let everybody choose one of three sessions [to attend]…we did make sure there was no more than 20-25 kids on the ice at one time.”

The SHYC board took everyone’s thoughts into account before setting tryout dates as well as practice start times.

“We kind of took the temperature of obviously the folks in the club, and our board members are made up of a good mix of people with kids of different ages,” Wahl said. “We have a couple [8U] moms, a few [10U] moms and then there’s some of us that have been around quite a while. My youngest is a [12U player] and my oldest is in high school, so we have a good pulse I think on what every level of parents are thinking.”

The SHYC, which had shut down operations on March 17, along with the OBM Arena in Strongsville had plenty of safety measures in place to help ensure safety for the players, staff and parents. A flawless approach made for smoothly run tryouts.

“Our rink’s been really good about following obviously whatever requirements by the health department,” Wahl said. “We have a one-way flow of traffic through the building, everyone’s required to wear a mask up until they take the ice. We also took temperatures of all of our kids that were getting on the ice and any parents that accompanied them into the building.”

The majority of kids came mostly dressed and laced up their skates in the lobby. Parents were asked not to accompany their kids to the locker rooms. Instead, parents could stay outside and enjoy what was dubbed “a party in the parking lot.” Cars were parked in every other space, families brought food and the rink set up a beer garden.

“We asked all the families to stay out there instead of kind of congregating in the lobby all close together, with faces up against the glass, like they always like to do during tryouts,” Wahl said. “Everyone really liked that.”

Tryouts were held Aug. 10-13 and 16, and the first day of fall practices started the next day. Since teams weren’t finalized for the first few practices, players skated with the kids in their same birth year.

As of right now, the Mustangs players can only practice and compete in intrasquad scrimmages, but that doesn’t change the enthusiasm of the players and coaches, said Hicar.

“I know the kids really love being back out there on the ice and our coaches do, too.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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