Lake Forest High School ice-hockey players work with, play against sled-hockey team
By Blake Schuster Special to The News-Sun December 29, 2011 3:34PM
Lake Forest HS boys hockey team is playing Great Lakes Adaptive's team at Lake Forest College on Thursday. GLASA's Dion Carr of Gurnee celebrates his first goal of the game. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 28, 2012 1:59AM
Lake Forest’s high-school hockey team lost a rare game on the ice recently. But, it wasn’t the loss that was rare, it was the game itself.
The Scouts’ varsity and junior-varsity members ditched their skates and grabbed some sleds, pairing up with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association to play an exhibition game against the GLASA Falcons’ sled-hockey team at Lake Forest College.
It was last January that Lake Forest College held an identical event with the GLASA Falcons, and a game with the Scouts followed suit.
At a Scouts team meeting this past fall, senior Antoni Hansdorfer raised his hand and asked if the Scouts and Falcons were going to meet again. Overwhelming support from the rest of the team ensued.
“I thought it was a great idea, and we have some tradition now with our second annual,” Scouts coach John Murphy said.
With annual being the keyword.
While the college raised nearly $1,800 at the game last year, the Scouts took their philanthropy a step further.
As they do every year, Lake Forest’s high-school team engaged in a Christmas tree sale with the proceeds going back to fund the Scouts’ program. Yet this year, the surplus of funds gave way for the team to purchase four new sleds — which cost about $800 a piece — and donate them to GLASA.
And while the teams were able to play nice off the ice, it was a different story during the 3-0 Falcons victory.
“They were trash-talking and chirping at us,” Ryan Kuhn of Lake Forest said, “It’s exactly what you would have seen in any other hockey game.”
The intensity of the GLASA squad should be no surprise. It is coached by Tony Fritz, who was a hockey-coaching legend at Lake Forest College when he retired.
After Fritz retired from collegiate hockey, GLASA offered him a new opportunity.
“My son-in-law and grandchildren were involved with GLASA, while I was still coaching,” Fritz said, “When I decided to retire ,the word got out that I was available. So immediately, GLASA called me up and asked me if I’d help out. The next thing I know, I was made head coach.”
Now in Fritz’s second season with the Falcons, the program has continued to rapidly grow — boasting two teams as is, and constantly gaining new players — making the donation of the sleds all the more important.
And while the Falcons and Scouts will part ways for the rest of the season, there is little doubt that the rivalry will be renewed next winter.
“It’s become a tradition,” Kuhn said, “It should continue for the next 10-15 years.”