2023 - Devon Higgins, Carter Hillson, Eliza O’Sullivan, Amy Pinkham, Matthew Shea, Brendan Sheedy, and Jacob Srivastava
2022 - Sean Curtis, Tyler Walles, and Jack Walsh
2021 - Kalli Archambault, Kelsey Dennehy, and Elizabeth Smith
2020 - Sara Carleo, Leo Byers, and Michael Feeney
The Board of Directors of the Andover Hockey Association is pleased to announce the formation of an annual scholarship for deserving alumni of the AHA youth hockey program.
Recipients will be selected each spring and the one-time scholarships will be awarded following successful completion of the recipients' first semester of college. Alumni from both boys’ and girls’ teams are welcome to apply. The BoD reserves the right to split funds among deserving candidates.
For 2024, the AHA BoD has pledged to award at least $500 in scholarship funds per selected applicant.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a graduating high school senior (Andover High School or Catholic/private school acceptable)
- Have been member of AHA for at least three full seasons
- Volunteer at least twelve hours of community service
- Complete a 500 word minimum essay on what the AHA means to you and how you plan to use the skills you’ve learned as a member in college and beyond
To apply, submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, April 30th, 2023:
- Name/Address/E-mail/Phone number for both applicant and parent contact
- Years of participation and teams/levels as a member of AHA (for example, 2011-2023, Initiation through High School)
- Documentation of volunteer service hours
- Essay, as described above
If you have any questions please contact email@example.com.
2022 NEWS RELEASE
The Board of Directors of the Andover Hockey Association is pleased to announce that Andover High School graduates Sean Curtis, Tyler Walles, and Jack Walsh are the 2022 winners of the AHA’s third annual scholarship awards for deserving alumni of the AHA youth hockey program.
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.
2021 NEWS RELEASE
The Board of Directors of the Andover Hockey Association is pleased to announce that Andover High School seniors Kelsey Dennehy and Kalli Archambault and Central Catholic High School senior Elizabeth Smith are the 2021 winners of the AHA’s second annual scholarship awards for deserving alumni of the AHA youth hockey program.
Ms. Archambault played center while at AHS and was an AHA member since her U-10 days. She credits Coach Parziale with being a great mentor. Kalli enjoyed her biology classes at AHS and plans to attend Fairfield University in Connecticut to study nursing. Her impression of this past season is that while there were many factors which could have driven her teammates apart, it actually served to make them stronger, like a family. Her advice to aspiring AHA players is to remember that winning isn’t everything, and that you should always strive to learn from your mistakes in order to improve - both in hockey and in life.
Ms. Dennehy played left wing and center for the AHS girls varsity hockey team. She was an AHA member from learn to skate through high school. She would like to give special recognition to Coaches Reilly, DiVencenzo and Leary who helped her to grow along the way. Kelsey plans to attend Indiana University and concentrate on media. Her favorite subject at AHS has been English and she is an avid reader. She noted that the COVID related restrictions of this past season challenged her and her teammates – with no fans or parents in the stands, they needed to motivate themselves each time they set foot on the ice. Her advice to young AHA members is to work hard, but make sure you always remember to have fun on - and off - the ice.
Ms. Smith played goalie at Central Catholic and was a lifelong AHA member, from the initiation clinics through high school half season teams. In her application essay, she noted how she needed to convert from skater to goaltender relatively late in her hockey career, as a U-14 player, and confessed that at first she was terrified! But gradually she improved and learned to love playing in net. Elizabeth’s favorite subject in high school has been English, and she is currently deciding between Fordham University and Virginia Tech for college, where she would like to study business. She recalls Coach Hellman as being influential in her hockey development during her youth hockey days. Her lasting memory of this past season was senior night, when Central Catholic faced off against Andover High - meaning she got to play against many of her friends with whom she has grown up playing hockey. Her advice for young AHA players is don’t be afraid to try something new – whether it be hockey related (like she did when she switched to goalie) or in life.
The AHA is very proud of these scholarship winners. All three young ladies 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.
2020 NEWS RELEASE
The Board of Directors of the Andover Hockey Association is pleased to announce that Andover High School Class of 2020 graduates Sara Carleo, Leo Byers and Michael Feeney are the winners of the AHA’s first annual scholarships for deserving alumni of the AHA youth program.
For 2020, the scholarships have been awarded in memory of Louis Stella Jr., a longtime AHA coach who passed away in 2019.
Ms. Carleo played defense and was a captain of the AHS girls varsity hockey team this past season. She will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall where she plans to major in business and play for the women’s hockey club. Her favorite AHA memory is playing in the Heseltine Tournament at Phillips Academy when she was a member of the Mite 3s: “It was my first tournament and we won so I was very excited to get a trophy. Our coaches, Jim Rigazio and Paul Fraser made that year so much fun.” Carleo’s advice to youth hockey players would be to “just have fun - hockey is an amazing sport where you can meet new people. Work hard, particularly on your skating, don’t stress, and have fun!”.
Regarding Carleo, AHS girls varsity hockey head coach Tyler Vigue says: “Not every person has the ability to lead or even the desire to, but Sara has both. It is a trait that has slowly developed during her four years with varsity. She has learned from those before her and has helped pave the way to success for all future players. I could not have asked for a better person and player to fill the role of captain during her final season. There is now a large pair of skates to fill in her place.”
Mr. Byers played forward and was a captain of the AHS boys varsity hockey team last season. He will be attending Northeastern University in the fall where he plans to major in civil engineering and play club hockey. “Looking back, my most memorable experiences were with my youth teams travelling to places like Montreal for tournaments. Of course, the best parts of these trips were never really the hockey but the memories I have of the hotel and such. Getting food with teammates or joking in the locker room, that's what sticks with you,” said Byers. His advice to youth hockey players is to “play the game with passion. Every time you practice, leave everything you have on the ice. Put your heart into everything you do, really, and be creative”.
Mr. Feeney also played forward and also was a captain of the AHS boys varsity hockey team last season. He will be attending the University of Miami, Ohio, in the fall as a business major. He will be fighting for Miami’s boxing team, and also aims to participate in Army ROTC and club hockey. Feeney’s fondest memory of his AHA youth days was also participating in the Heseltine Tournament as a mite, which he thinks is “very touching playing in memory of another individual who has passed through AHA”. His advice to young hockey players in Andover is to never lose their love for the game. He added, “Focus on minor goals everyday and continue to build off of them. Hard work pays off.”
About Byers and Feeney, AHS boys varsity hockey coach Kevin Drew remarked that they were “two great captains” who made him feel welcome from day one during his first season as coach. Regarding Byers, Coach Drew felt that he could not given the team anything more and “left it all on the ice”. Coach Drew noted that it was a “tough break” that Feeney was injured during the season but that nevertheless he was a “great leader” who kept the team together.
AHA President Matt McLaughlin remarked: “We are extremely proud of the first annual AHA scholarship winners as all three winners exemplified what AHA youth hockey strives to achieve – namely, to develop not only great hockey players but great people. All three candidates stressed the foundation and the positive atmosphere they experienced while playing for AHA and how it impacted them personally. They are now old enough as high school graduates to know that not every sports organization cares as much about culture and service as AHA and as a result they were active in giving back and setting an example to the next generation of youth players. We are thankful for the opportunity to introduce them to the game of hockey and are looking forward to seeing what they achieve as they transition to college.”
Mr. Louis Stella Jr. passed away on September 11, 2019, at the age of 74. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for AHA, he was the clinic instructor for 17 years. Besides the pride he took in his family, nothing brought him more joy than teaching the youth of Andover how to skate. Faithfully on Saturday and Sunday mornings in sub-zero temperatures he was at the "cage" to help grow the game of hockey. He was recognized in 1991 for his contributions to the Andover Hockey Association. Until his death, he was regularly recognized around town by the kids he taught to skate as "Coach Lou".
The Andover Hockey Association, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is one of the oldest and largest community based amateur hockey associations in New England. The AHA organizes and promotes a fun, safe, and developmentally rewarding hockey experience for all Andover children. It is a family-centered organization that places the needs of its members first, giving all players the opportunity to participate to the best of their ability, to develop as athletes, and to grow more confidently into young adulthood in service to the entire AHA member community as well as the town of Andover and its residents.