“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.

In a year that presented many obstacles, Walker Youth Hockey (WYH) did its best to make all our athletes feel welcome and empowered.

Squirt Coach Matt McWaters ends every practice asking his athletes who is important to the team. The collective response is “everyone!”

Walker Youth Hockey persists in offering competitive hockey to the youth of many local communities including Walker, Remer, Longville, Hackensack, Laporte and Nevis. The leadership of WYH continues its mission of offering players a safe hockey environment where kids can develop their game while building on lifelong human qualities including respect, time management, and being humble, to name a few.

In March of 2015, the mini mites team had 11 players. Through great effort in recruitment and retention 2020-2021 saw nearly 30 kids in the same age group. Overall membership has grown to over 50 athletes including teams at the mini mite, mite, squirt and peewee levels. Both girls and boys fill the rosters on all the teams.

The association hosted a total of four tournaments this season — three invitational and one district tournament. The economic impact of these tournaments is felt greatly by the community as many of the teams stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants, shop at local businesses and use many of the outdoor adventures offered to the public. The tournaments are run strictly by volunteers from the hockey association.

WYH endures to build a family friendly outlet for anyone wanting to learn to skate or play hockey throughout the winter. The leadership of WYH strives to keep costs extremely low to its members. The association provides nearly all the equipment necessary to play the game and at times provides meals.

In the year of the pandemic, the association spent over $2,000 on masks for all players to follow the guidelines set forth by Minnesota Hockey.

Scholarships are available for anyone who wants to play but is concerned about the cost of hockey. If you are interested in having your child learn to skate or play hockey, contact Nate Gustafson at (218) 760-9885, or reach out the Walker Area Community Center or Walker Youth Hockey Facebook page.

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