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Head Coaches By Team




Mite 1

Joe Heaton

18 years experience, 4th with WHA, Program Director, AAU

Mite 2     

Grant Paulsen

6 years experience with WHA, Program Director, Level 3 USAH

Mite 3     

Joe Heaton

18 years experience of  experience, 4th with WHA, Program Director, AAU

Squirt 1   

Adam Cheris

3rd years experience with WHA, Founder Impact Hockey, Level 4 USAH

Squirt 2

Ben Piskor

6 years experience experience; 4th year with WHA, Level 3 USAH

Squirt 3

Peter Kennedy

5th years experience with WHA, 4th years as Head Coach, Level 3 USAH

Squirt 4

Nate Gibson

3rd year with WHA, second as Head Coach, Level 2 USAH

Pee Wee 1

Brad McMahon

17 years’ experience, WHA 2017 Coach of the Year; Level 4 USAH

Pee Wee 2

Andy Bauer

8 years’ experience, 2107 NIHL State Champion, Level 4 USAH

Pee Wee 3

Ethan Austin


Pee Wee 4

Michael Loverde

3 years’ experience, first as Head Coach, Level 3 USAH

Bantam 1

John Wallin 
Mike Kennedy (co)

Wallin—30+ years at DI, Junior, High School and Tier 2, Level 4 USAH

Kennedy—10 years coaching experience, Level 3 USAH

Bantam 2

Sean Keane

7 years coaching experience; former NT Blue co Head Coach, Level 3 USAH

Bantam 3

Gary Blaha

20+ years’ experience, Level 4 USAH

Girls u10

Multiple Coaches 


Girls u12

Nicholas Ponce De Leon

4 years’ experience, second as Head Coach, Level 3 USAH

Girls u14

Kyle Sennott

3 years coaching experience, second as Head Coach, Level 2 USAH

All assistant coaches will be announced at a later date.

Wilmette Hockey Basics:

Expect : average 2.5  to 3.0 practice events and 1 to 2 games per week.

Team Practices and Skill Sessions: 
1.  Organization:               Defined plan, 2 coaches, equipment needs and teaching points
2.  Energy:                           Seize the opportunity to be great today.
3.  Repetition:                   Efficiently engineered practice designs; three skill priorities
4.  Team Themes:            What is our collective spirit?  What do we care about as a team?
5.  Deep Instruction:       Every drill, connect with players for advanced development tips
6.  Have Fun                       The game is intended to be fun—let it happen.

Off the Ice Player Education and Development
1.  Video Education         Team, small group, individual player---hosted by team HC or Director.
2.  Life Skill Education     Monthly themes and awards based on character performance
3.  Dryland Training*       Getting fitness edge through off ice training sessions.

4.  Off Ice Systems           Learning system play and positioning through off ice training
5.  Hockey Men/Chalk    Learning system play and positioning through hockey position figurines


Goaltending:  Weekly Highlights

Monday: Goaltender Specialized Clinics:  2.5 to 1 student to coach ratio

Tuesday through Friday:  Team practices or skills with dedicated, professional WHA Goaltending Coaches at 2 of every 3 practices weekly.

Overall:  Up to 4 practice sessions a week.


Goaltending: New Emphasis:  Game and Practice Video

To supplement instruction, build confidence and improve communication, WHA Director Grant Paulsen will provide video instruction from both practice and game settings.

Just as it does for the skating team, video can illuminate teaching points, provide excitement and accelerate development.


Equipment Check

Prior to the season’s start and intermittently throughout the season, all important “equipment checks” will be offered by coaches.  As coaches, we cannot over-emphasize the benefits or perfectly fitting and protective equipment.  The more a player (and parents) know about this subject, the better they player becomes.

Team Culture
1.  Reward the small, important plays that lead to the big, high profile plays.
2.  Assure the respect and camaraderie are always on display.

3.  Bring positive energy to the moment whenever possible. 
4.  Keep in mind, a player will never bully or destroy the experience for another teammate. 
5.  We respect teammates, referees and opponents in accordance with WHA behavior guidelines. 

Game Management
1.  We roll lines and intend to provide equal playing time for all team members. 
2. We want all kids to be fully involved in the game.  

3.  Exceptions for reduced ice time:  penalty filled games, player discipline or teaching. Additionally, playing time may be adjusted in tightly contested games with 2:30 or less in period.  Conversely, with large leads, players that lose ice time in tight games may gain ice time here.

1.  Season start up parent meeting
2.  Practice/Game lobby talks
3.  Team parent email….every 4-5 weeks stating state of team and plan ahead.
4.  Parent-Player-Coach meeting

Player Skills Rotations and Leaderships

For the fourth year, Prodigy Hockey’s Brian Keane will lead Wilmette Hockey player skill develop sessions for Squirt, Pee Wee and Bantam.

Under Brian’s leadership, WHA Director Joe Heaton and Precision Hockey (Anthony Booth) will host additional skill sessions.

Joe Heaton will continue to design develop curriculum for House and Mite players.