2022 AHA Scholarship Winners
Sean Curtis has been a part of AHA for over four years and says that not only has the organization made him a better hockey player, but that he has learned valuable life lessons, increased his overall confidence, and become a better person with all that he has learned.
Sean’s favorite coach was Coach Loring. “Throughout my career I feel like I really connected with him. Coach Loring was one of those coaches that always believed in me and my abilities as a player, when I was having a bad day or practice he would always take the time to ask me how I was doing. Every coach in my hockey career has brought me wonderful lessons and experiences. But I think out of all of them Loring had the most influence.”
Sean’s most memorable Andover hockey experience was playing against and ultimately beating Hingham as a high school senior. The part that sticks out the most for him was not the game, but the locker room afterwards - “the sheer amount of excitement we all felt as a team, winning the game together.,. water was being thrown in the air and the cheers and level of excitement was something I will never forget!”
When asked for advice he would pass on to current and future AHA players, Sean says you need to put in 110% effort to not only earn your spot on the ice but also to keep it. Sean also says the camaraderie you feel in hockey is unlike any other. Always remember to give it your best, because your effort affects not only yourself but your teammates.
Sean will be attending Elon University in North Carolina, focusing on business. Congratulations Sean!
Tyler Walles has grown up with AHA and vividly remembers skating on Gurry Rink... when it wasn’t even called Gurry Rink. What stands out for Tyler the most over his AHA career is the inclusiveness that comes from being part of a team and working together, the sense of confidence he built as he went through the different levels, his growth both as a person and a player and the leadership skills he embodied that he will take with him throughout his life.
Tyler's favorite coach from Andover Hockey was Coach Kevin DeMichaelis. Coach DeMichaelis was Tyler's freshman year coach for the fall half-season team. Tyler says Coach DeMichaelis was an excellent hockey coach but an even better mentor. He cared more about developing the player into the best person rather than just coaching the player on the ice. This showed Tyler that he was valued as a person and taught him to be accountable in all aspects of my life, not just on the ice.
Tyler's most memorable moment with AHA was winning the Heseltine Tournament in 2012. During his time on the Mite 1 team, Tyler made friendships that stayed with him throughout high school. The memories from the tournament and the fact that it was won on home ice made it that much more memorable. Tyler felt like they brought the championship back home, and he says in his mind he could hear the announcement of his team's victory just like the famous call on the radio "after 39 long years, the Cup is back in Boston" when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup the year before!
Tyler's advice to the next generation of AHA players is to enjoy your time and have fun! Cherish these moments. When you're having fun, you enjoy the game and when you're enjoying the game, you're going to be playing your best hockey. For those who play high school hockey, go to Andover High School. The school is extremely inclusive and the school spirit is some of the best in the area. Wherever your path takes you in life, have fun!
Tyler plans to attend Bridgton Academy in Maine for a post-graduate year to play hockey and further his educational pursuits. Congratulations Tyler!
Jack Walsh has played hockey since he was a little guy in "Learn to Skate". From that young age of playing hockey, he always felt he was part of something bigger then himself. Jack credits AHA for teaching him valuable lessons that has helped make him the person he is today and is grateful for the lifelong friends and memories he has made along the way.
Jack says he was fortunate to have a lot of great coaches, so it's really hard to choose just one as his favorite. Among his favorite coaches are Steve Neal, Jim Rigazio, Mike DiCenzo, and Kevin DeMichaelis, all providing valuable lessons and support that have shaped him into the player and person he is today.
Jack's most memorable AHA experience was going to Jay Peak, Vermont with his Bantam team for a tournament - not only did they win the tournament, but the memories of hanging out with the team in between games, going to the waterpark at the hotel, sharing all the experiences throughout the tournament, and ultimately winning is what made the whole experience so special.
When asked what advice he would give to current AHA youth hockey players who aspire to play high school hockey, he said it would be to work hard and always look to improve, but most importantly keep enjoying themselves while playing. What really helps players improve is having a passion for the sport, so having fun with hockey that is crucial to playing at the next level.
Jack will be attending Northeastern University this fall. Congratulations Jack!
The AHA is very proud of these scholarship winners. All three young men epitomized the mission of the AHA in terms of their commitment, teamwork, sportsmanship, and community service. We are grateful that their families chose AHA for their youth hockey experience and wish them luck and success as they embark on their next adventures in life.