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2020 Summer Program

May 26, 2020

We are excited to announce our 2020 summer program. We have been working hard with both Centennial Ice Arena and North Shore Ice Arena to ensure that all safety precautions can be met. Per the state’s orders, our program will allow for 10 or less people in a gathering at one time. For our purposes, this will allow for 9 skaters and 1 coach on each half of a full sheet of ice. If a skate is on the studio ice it will again allow for 9 skaters and 1 coach. The program will focus on individual player and skill development. It will be organized and modeled by hockey director Tim Benz. Tim and the WHA coaching staff will run the clinics throughout the summer.

We have gone ahead and reserved an ample amount of ice which we believe will accommodate the entire club. We can accommodate everyone by breaking down the club by birth year. Our program will consist of a 6-week program that will have 2 skates a week per birth year. We will do our best to keep all birth years together but may have to adjust depending on the number of registrations per birth year. These adjustments will be made to keep the gathering of 10 rule in place.

Once the final schedule is released, assume your player is to attend their birth year skate. If a specific birth year is over the 18-player limit, the hockey director will contact families and ask if they can switch times to skate with another birth year.

Goaltenders are encouraged to sign up as well. They are included in the group of 10 number on the ice. Coaches will be instructed to provide feedback to the goaltenders as well. Similar to the skaters, if multiple goalies are registered at a specific birth year, the hockey director will assign some to a different birth year. If we find ourselves with excess ice over the summer, we will organize some goalie specific clinics.

Registration will open in the next few days. Cost for the summer program will be $450 for skaters and $225 for goalies. Please go to for more information and registration.

COVID-19 Update

April 13, 2020

Dear Tribe Families,

We wanted to give you an update on the plan for the WHA/Tribe Spring Hockey Program.

On Thursday, April 9, 2020 the WHA Board and staff held a meeting to review all the current options for the spring program. We have been in contact with the Wilmette Park District, North Shore Ice Arena, AHAI, and our neighboring clubs. Everyone remains on hold at this time.  As soon as the “stay at home” order is lifted in Illinois, both rinks have indicated the ice will be available for our use.  The current order is scheduled to be lifted on April 30, 2020, but obviously that is subject to change.   

The Board has decided to wait on making a final decision on the Spring program. We are trying to do everything possible to provide a spring program for our players in this rapidly changing environment.  We have put together a revised spring schedule from May 1st to June 6th, with three (3) skates per week.  If we unable to start by May 1st, the spring program will be cancelled, and all fees will be refunded. 

We are also finalizing the details for a summer program run by Hockey Director Tim Benz with the emphasis on skills and player development.  The summer program will offer two (2) skates a week at each level.  More information on the summer program will be coming soon.

All of us in the hockey community are eager to get our players back on the ice as soon as possible, but our top priority at the Tribe remains the safety of our players and families. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.  Thank you and stay safe. 

Rob Schelp
President, Wilmette Tribe

President's Update

MARCH 22, 2020

As you know, the COVID - 19 situation has become more serious in our community and throughout the State of Illinois. Governor Pritzker’s statewide stay-at -home order has shut down all non-essential business, travel and other activities until April 7, 2020. As a result, the Tribe Spring Program will now be suspended until at least April 7, 2020 and will remain suspended until it is safe to resume. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide you with most accurate information possible on the status of the WHA Spring Program. While it remains our intention to resume spring hockey as soon as it is safe, it’s also possible that the program could be modified or even cancelled.

We expect to provide a full spring schedule if we are able to start by April 20, 2020. If the delays continue past April 20 th , we may be required to modify the schedule or in the worst-case scenario cancel the spring program. If the spring program is reduced or cancelled, families will receive the appropriate refunds. 

To help our players get some exercise and skill work during the shutdown, Hockey Director Tim Benz is creating some “quarantine” Video’s for the driveway or basement.

Tim is also issuing a series of player “challenges” during the shutdown. The first is the “100 shot challenge”, where players practice by taking 100 shots on goal in a 3-day period. If the challenge is not completed in the allotted time, you must start over. If your player completes the challenge send an e-mail to with the players name and “challenge 1 completed” and your player will be recognized at the first skills session.
The links for the first two videos are:  

Stay safe and healthy.
Rob Schelp
Tribe President

President's Update

March 14th, 2020
As we monitor the COVID-19 situation, our primary concern is the safety of our hockey players and families. We continue to monitor the situation in our community to assure that we make the best decisions for our program and the safety of our hockey families and the community at large.

At this time, we are suspending the Wilmette Tribe Spring Travel and House Hockey Programs until March 30, 2020. Prior to March 30, 2020 we will provide you with an update and revised spring schedule. While it is our intention to resume spring hockey as soon as it is safe to do so, it is possible the delay could last longer. If the delay continues into April, we are confident we can still have a full spring schedule. In the event of a shortened spring schedule, families will receive the appropriate prorated refunds. Regarding our Travel program, we are also in contact with the spring tournaments and will provide updates to the applicable families as information becomes available. 

If your House or Travel player participates in any hockey activities while the Tribe Spring Programs are on hold, please ensure that they use their own water bottles and follow all the recommended safety precautions in and around the applicable rinks. Please note that the North Shore Ice Arena (NSIA) remains open and has instituted a sanitizing policy in the locker rooms and common areas. 

Thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we navigate through these difficult and complicated circumstances. 

Rob Schelp
Wilmette Tribe President

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Dear Tribe families,

We have just been informed that Centennial Ice rink will be closed and until further notice.  

Please note, player, parent and coach safety is our top priority. With that said, the Tribe spring program has been temporarily suspended until further notice. We hope to resume the program as soon as possible.  We hope to have a full spring program with the start being delayed.  The WHA board of directors will be holding an emergency meeting tomorrow and will update you in the near future.  As information develops, we will keep you posted with updates.

Tim Benz
WHA Hockey Director

Wilmette Tribe Hockey Club for Ages 4-8 (Mites)


Looking for Youth Hockey (Ages 9 & Up) visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Association.    

Spring Practice Times

Below are the times for the first few spring practices. 

Mite 1
Week 1
Tuesday 3/17 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 3/18 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 3/20 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Week 2
Tuesday 3/31 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 4/1 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 4/3 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Mite 2
Week 1
Tuesday 3/17 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 3/18 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 3/20 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Week 2
Tuesday 3/31 - Practice 5:25pm @ Centennial
Wednesday 4/1 - Goalie Clinic 5:50pm @ NSIA 
Friday 4/3 - Mite Skills 4:00pm @ Centennial

Spring Travel Rosters

Spring Travel Rosters can be found here.

Spring House

Spring House registration is open. 

Click here to register.  Go to the Spring House Home Page for more information regarding spring travel. 

Wilmette Tribe Mite House Travel League is for players aged 4-8 (birth year 2012 and younger).  

If your player is birth year 2011 or older, they are now considered Squirts. Please visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Club for Squirts and other youth leagues.


Spring Travel

Spring Travel registration is open. 

Click here to register.  Go to the Spring Travel Home Page for more information regarding spring travel. 

Wilmette Tribe Mite House Travel League is for players aged 6-8 (birth year 2012 and younger).  

For Spring Devo and Mite House League, please visit the Spring House pageIf your player is birth year 2011 or older, they are now considered Squirts. Please visit the Wilmette Braves Hockey Club for Squirts and other youth leagues.




Fall Travel Information.

Register here! 


Sunday, August 25 (Mandatory)

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm:  All Parents Meeting – Tribe and Braves

Wilmette Community Center, 3000 Glenview Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

Introducing the Coaches and Presenting our operating guidelines to the parents.

Player Skill and Team hockey curriculum discussions will be scheduled (and method for distribution) shortly.

Is Travel Right for Me?

By Tom Finks, Director of Coaching Operations 07/26/2018, 9:00pm CDT


As a child enters hockey, our first priority is to build GENUINE confidence,  basic fundamental skills and a love for the game. 
Early on, we want kids constantly "graduating" --constantly collecting positive experiences in order to develop into passionate hockey players.
We always want to promote (as opposed to demote) in the early stages. 
These positive experiences are essential. And patience is critical.
Entering travel fall/winter travel hockey too soon can often lead to a counter productive experience--sometimes resulting in early retirement from a player that was pushed too hard too soon.   Hockey becomes consuming and frustrating rather then fun and productive. 
Please keep in mind Fall/Winter Travel Hockey is much more competitive than spring.
If your child is highly ambitious but not ready for travel, choose House League Hockey and add other sports to his/her menu.  This is a great and productive option.
Multi-sport experiences provide tremendous athletic, psychological and life-style advantages that provide big payoffs down the road. Hockey players with soccer, flag football and basketball experience gain athletic skills, develop a full range of coordination and learn concepts that apply directly to the game of hockey.   Ask any of your hockey coach leaders.  Down the road, the best hockey players are always the multi-sport athletes. 
In sum, for the long term, you cannot lose.  Or maybe more directly--your child will not "fall behind."
If a child is ready for travel--great!  Let's go.  
If a child is not ready for travel, House league hockey will get him/her there and you will have the opportunity to play and learn through other sports..
Both choices with pay off with a happy, productive young athlete with a great future in hockey.
If you have specific questions about your child, please consult with our House League Coaching Director Joe Heaton at the contact below.

Train with Joe Heaton

By Wilmette Tribe 05/02/2018, 3:30pm CDT

Coach Joe is offering private and group skates, levels House to AAA, at Centennial from 6:00am - 9:00am most week days,(additional times available over the summer).   Contact him directly for details; or find him on Facebook at Heaton Hockey.  


We are also happy to announce that he has taken a position with the Wilmette Park District as a hockey instructor and is teaching many of the park district hockey classes (Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays at Centennial).  

Mite 1 player Charles Dion represents the Wilmette Tribe during the National Anthem at the Blackhawks vs Ducks game

Mite 1 D2 Spring Glacier Invitational Champions

Mite 1 player Jack O'Dell represented the Wilmette Tribe during the national anthem at the Jan 5th Blackhawks vs Knights game.

Coach Rafe Aybar Being Honored by Wilmette Hockey for his years of contribution to youth hockey and his induction into the IL Hockey Hall of Fame.