HISTORY of the Eastern Shore Hockey Association and the Easton ICEHAWKS
When It Started...And How
Friday, December 14, 1979, on page 3b of the Star Democrat, the first announcement "HOG NECK ARENA WILL SPONSOR CLASS" was made. The Hog Neck Arena was offering a basic introduction to skating techniques for ice hockey. Jim Kar, an advocate of hockey, had suggested the program to the rink, and volunteered his services. Mrs. Alton B. Jones had given this beautiful facility to Talbot County. Jim wanted to use this beautiful new facility to bring ice hockey to the youth of this county. Jim was raised playing hockey in Canada and later played at Cornell College; Jim found the opportunity to play again irresistible. Thirteen youngsters between the ages of seven to thirteen joined and started to learn the fundamentals of skating for ice hockey. The season ended with the Star Democrat proclaiming, "HOCKEY SKATING PROGRAM IS A SUCCESS".
The next season, 1980-81, brought plans of continuing the program for boys ages 11-14. Equipment was found, practice goal nets made, and a box of pucks bought. With the news of ice hockey on the Eastern Shore, volunteers began calling up, asking Jim how they can get involved. Jan White, Jesse Medcalf, and Allen Jones had volunteered to help coach the new participants. Forty six boys had signed up to be divided into PeeWee, Junior, and Senior leagues. Practice was once a week for the annual fee of $135.00.
It became apparent that if ice hockey was to stay, protective glass would have to be procured in order to let spectators safely watch the sport. Insurance was becoming a problem - $25,000 to $30,000 would have to be raised. The parents and coaches formed The Hog Neck Booster Club, to organize the continuing effort. Jan White was elected president and the planning started. A benefit glass night was given by The Banner Newspaper to kick off the search for "Glass" funding. Jim Karr began the Annual Dinner Raffle. Our players were selling raffle tickets everywhere.
By the end of the year, our teams were calling other areas in the mid-Atlantic region looking for games. The first win was at Newark, Delaware with the junior team. Through the late spring and summer donations were continuing to be actively sought after.
The fall of 1981-82 started our third season. The rink had given us ice a month earlier than the previous year and everyone was ready to start. There was news that "Glass" was on the way. In addition to the returning teams, a girls' team and an adult men’s' traveling team were started. The adult men’s' team started playing college teams in the Mid-Atlantic area. The Hog Neck Boosters Club became the Eastern Shore Hockey Association (ESHA) and joined AHAUS. ESHA was raising money to cover the $9,800.00 for ice time. Ice fees that year were $135.00 per player, a banquet was organized and the season ended with 123 players in the league. Terry Corkran was elected President of ESHA, Jesse Metcalf was the new head coach and once again the planning for the next season started.
At the beginning of the fourth season the "glass" arrived and was installed. We finally looked like a real hockey rink! Our teams had new ESHA logos on their jerseys. This year the players were split into In-house, Squirts, PeeWees, Bantams, and Juniors. The men’s' traveling team and the girls’ team were also back. Ice was on the Eastern Shore to stay as documented by The Banner's March 23, 1983 headline: "ICE HOCKEY ON A ROLL".
Who are the Easton ICEHAWKS today
The Eastern Shore Hockey Association (ESHA) is a non-profit youth ice hockey organization, committed to helping our children to learn and develop the skills necessary to play ice hockey in a safe environment.
With our limited resources, every effort has been made to offer options suitable for each player’s age, ability, and competitive interest.
We currently have teams dedicated to recreational level youth hockey (CCHL / Red teams) as well as a more competitive Tier II youth hockey program (CBHL / Blue teams). Both, the Red and Blue teams, are USA Hockey age levels U10 (Squirts) through U18 (Midgets). We also offer U8 (Mites) and U6 (Atoms) instructional hockey which teaches the basic fundamentals and elements of the game, this program may participate in games and Mite jamborees which are usually cross-ice with Limited Travel.
With only one ice rink in our area, both Red and Blue teams are considered “travel” hockey teams and are for the experienced skaters (for learn to skate or youth non-travel hockey CLICK HERE). ESHA’s Tier II “Blue” teams play within the Chesapeake Bay Hockey League (CBHL), being more competitive, and played to win. The Red Teams typically play in the Capitol Corridor Hockey League (CCHL) which is a little more “recreational” in nature. Both the CBHL and CCHL are comprised of teams from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, with most teams being within a two-hour drive from the Easton area. The youth hockey season runs from September through March. Most teams have two evening practices per week with games on the weekends. Player evaluations are scheduled in April and are open to returning and new players.
*It is very important that players and parents understand and accept the time and financial commitment of playing on a team, especially the CBHL Travel Teams.