News

News

KOHA BRONCOS PEEWEE B BROWN - ADRAY BRONZE CHAMPS!

The KOHA Pee Wee B Broncos Brown won the Bronze division of the Adray West Playoffs on February 12, 2017.   The team won in dramatic fashion during a shootout in which Ethan Kerschner scored the winning goal against GRAHA.

Team members include:
Jack Carpenter
Mitchell Clinard
Keagen Crist
Josh Engel
Gavyn Garza
Niko Lewis
Dave Mitchell
Jake Mitchell
Ethan Kerschner
Noah Sidell
Colin Swintz
Cooper Talaga
Ian Woodruff

Coaches include:
Head Coach, Chris Talaga
Randy Carpenter
Martin Clinard
Kevin Sidell

 

17/18 KOHA K-WINGS 10U (SQUIRT) A HEAD COACH ANNOUNCED

KOHA's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Ryan Penny as our 10U (Squirt) A K-Wings Head Coach for the 2017/18 season. Ryan played his youth hockey with KOHA in the 80s and 90s, went on to play high school hockey (in the SWMHSHL) with the Kalamazoo Blades, and then spent a season with the WMU Stallions ACHA Club team.

Ryan is a Level 4 USA Hockey Certified Coach, and has been coaching in KOHA since 2012 in our grassroots programs, 6U and 8U. Ryan has an eagerness to continue to learn best coaching practices and is dedicated to athlete development. "I am a huge advocate of the ADM. I am all about fast pace, high intensity drills that only station based practices can provide. Small area games are a HUGE part of player development, which is why we see it utilized at the highest level; because the best coaches in our sport know the game breaks down and is played in small areas. Although I am very competitive and committed to trying to win, I am more concerned with long-term skill development. I believe that you develop the skills and the wins will come," said Penny.

If you'd like to contact Ryan about your 2008 birth year player for the 2017/18 season, he can be reached at 269-760-0059 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Application deadline for all other 2017/18 A/AA Head Coaching positions for boys and girls teams is February 17th, and those announcements will be made in mid-March (at - or near - the conclusion of our current season). Applications can be found here.

Tryouts for the fall A/AA teams have not yet been announced (as of Feb. 2, 2017), so keep an eye out for that information on our website and social media sites.

 

AUTISM AND OUR HOCKEY COMMUNITY

Originally published on KOHA's blog on Jan. 31, 2017

This past weekend, KOHA along with the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL) hosted our 5th Annual "Youth Hockey Fights for Kids with Autism" and raised over $10,500 for the Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research (a program of ROI, Inc.) located in Portage, MI. Thank you to our partners, sponsors and hockey community for once again coming together to support a terrific event.

As successful as the event was once again thanks to our sponsors and our hockey family, we stumbled on a pretty awesome story (and an even more amazing set of goalie pads!).

As the event day was winding down, we noticed these up in the lobby at Wings West:


We decided to share the picture on our Facebook page with the hopes of letting their owner know how very cool (and timely) we thought they were!

THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

The owner saw them and commented to thank us for sharing. His name is Shane and we asked him for their story. Here is what he sent via Facebook messenger:

 

"Story behind the pads: About a year or so ago we got confirmation that my boy, our only child, is autistic. While we had a hard time with it at first he is still my little buddy. I play net a lot at Lawson, Wings West, in port Huron for the Prowlers, Grand Rapids for theLakers, down in Tennessee, and have been to a few camps for the Walleye in Toledo, so I figured traveling so much to play would be a perfect platform to help raise some awareness for autism. I take every opportunity I can to talk about the pads and explain to everyone how it is not a disability, merely a special ability that not everyone has. The goal is to help everyone understand, not just for my son, but all the families and people affected by autism. I got with the pro rep at Brian's custom goalie and worked out a design on photoshop. We talked about wanting every piece of gear different to represent how everybody with autism is completely different, nobody the same. 10 weeks later the pads were done and I have just started wearing them. I have gotten a lot of compliments and quite a few opportunities to spread the word. Also quite a few messages on social media through Instagram and my YouTube channel expressing gratitude for making the set. I always let them know the pleasure is mine and it's an honor to support the cause."

 

Shane also shared more (TOTALLY AWESOME) pictures:


THANK YOU, Shane, for sharing both your story and your love for your "Little Buddy."

   

A LITTLE HELP GOES A LONG WAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

      

We all know that the holidays, for some, aren't always happy. It can be a challenge for parents to help their children not only understand, but participate in, helping those that need extra support during the holidays.

Two KOHA teams joined forces to help make the holidays a little brighter for some local families. KOHA's 12U AA K-Wings and our 10U Squirt B Bronco Gold teams came together and adopted three families through Volunteers of America, Michigan:

    -- A single mom with two kids who can no longer work due to chronic degenerative condition,
    -- A family of five, where mom has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and,
    -- A family of 5 whose youngest (4) has autism.

    They purchased household items like comforters & bath towels, personal items such as hats, boots, gloves, long johns, and pajamas, as well as some toys and age-appropriate gifts for the children in each family to open and enjoy on Christmas morning.

    In a post on Facebook, one of the 12U AA K-Wings moms, Rebecca Bauer, said, "Teaching our kids to give back and be thankful for all they have. Landon's hockey team adopted three families for Christmas this year. I took him shopping for items like gloves, socks and deodorant. What a wonderful experience for these young boys. It makes my heart happy to know that these less fortunate families will have a Merry Christmas. Kudos to KOHA K-Wings and Bronco families for making this happen."

    The two teams had a fun on-ice scrimmage, and then the families enjoyed pizza - and each other - while they wrapped the gifts they'd purchased to help those less fortunate than themselves have a brighter holiday.

    Thank you to the coaches and managers that helped coordinate this, the parents that helped shop and wrap, and our boys that wanted to help local families that needed some holiday cheer! We are so thankful to have such wonderful families in our program - and we are so proud of all of you. #KOHAcares

     

     

     

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    KOHA's mission is to provide every boy and girl in southwest Michigan the opportunity to enjoy and excel at the game of hockey. We know that our members (and potential members) are in various stages of their commitment to hockey. Hopefully the information below can help parents navigate what's offered and make the best hockey choices for their family.

    How do I get my child started with hockey/skating?

    Learn To Skate and Beginning Hockey questions answered here.

    Where should my child skate once they've completed Beginning Hockey?
    After completing Beginning Hockey, if your child is 8 or under, they would move into the age-appropriate (6U or 8U) program for the next season. If they're 9 or older, the best fit would likely be our House C program (see below) to continue to apply those skills learned throughout Beginning Hockey.

    Our 6U and 8U programs are weekend only programs - ice times are generally in the mornings on Saturdays and Sundays from mid-October through mid-March. We have small rosters, run station-based practices, and have the KOHA Skills Team on the ice with these programs throughout the season. Our focus is on player development, and encourage all players to try the goalie position throughout their time in 8U. We typically have about 36-40 kids on the ice at a time in these programs for 60 minutes at a time. On game days, we set up the cross-ice boards, and we have refs for 8U game days (coaches run the 6U game days).

    Below is a breakdown of the programs offered by KOHA after 8U and some of the differences between them. This organizational chart is to help you make an informed decision about where to sign your child up for the 2017/18 hockey season. We hope you'll find this helpful in making the best choice for child's hockey development. If you have any further questions regarding any of the programs offered by KOHA, please feel free to contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Please note: for 2017/18 season, 2009 birth years MUST play age appropriate in our 8U program; 2005 birth years MUST play age appropriate at the PeeWee level.

    BASIC DIFFERENCE IN OUR PROGRAM OFFERINGS AFTER 8U:

    Our K-Wings Travel (A/AA) programs are TRYOUT teams that play in the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League. Typically these teams practice 3 times/week (including one skills night) with games on the weekends, and anywhere from 2-4 tournaments (plus Districts), depending on the age group. Teams travel primarily within the state of Michigan, but do sometimes travel for an out-of-state tournament, typically in Ohio, Indiana or Illinois.
    Tryouts are held in the spring, and are open to anyone. The tryout schedule for the 2017/18 season will be posted in March, 2017. Some coaches typically hold bootcamps/team building events at the end of August, and regular practice begins after Labor Day.

    TRAVEL A/AA - (Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam, JV)
    Season length - September thru mid-March
    Travel - Throughout Michigan and beyond
    Experience - Competitive level athlete
    League - LCAHL (Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League)
    Practices - 3 per week (12 practice/month)
    Games - 45-55. Detroit-based league. 4 tournaments
    Sign up - Tryout sport, best players chosen from tryouts
    Cost - Approx $2,200-$2,800

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    Our Bronco House B programs are DRAFTED teams that play in the Adray League. Registration for this program, as required by Michigan Amateur Hockey Association rules, is open to ANYONE that wants to register. The drafts at each age division are monitored by a MAHA District 6 Chairperson assigned to help ensure our teams are balanced, and our drafts are conducted fairly. Our Bronco teams typically practice 3 times per week (including one skills night) with games on the weekends, as well as 2 tournaments, plus Districts and League tournaments. House B teams play primarily in West Michigan (including areas north of Grand Rapids), although may travel to Detroit or South Bend for a tournament. Evaluation skates are held at the end of August, and teams are DRAFTED generally in the beginning of September, with practices beginning right around the second week of September.

    HOUSE B - (Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam)
    Season length - September thru mid-March
    Travel - West Michigan based league (Grand Rapids central)
    Experience - Above average House C recreational player
    League - ACHL (Adray Community Hockey League)
    Practices - 3 per week (12 practices/month)
    Games - 30-35. Mostly West Michigan. 2 tournaments
    Sign up - Open sign-ups to all. Teams drafted.
    Cost - Approx. $2,200-$2,500

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    The House C program is our "Weekend Warrior" program. Open registration, and teams play other teams within KOHA within the same age division. A mix of practices and games are held on Saturdays and Sundays only from mid-October through the beginning of March. The first 2-4 skates are treated as evaluation skates, and then a DRAFT is held at each age division. It is always our intent to create balanced teams so that every child has fun and enjoys coming to the rink every weekend.

    HOUSE C - (Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam)
    Season length - October thru mid-March
    Travel - None, all local arenas
    Experience - Recreational player
    League - KOHA (Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association)
    Practices - Saturday and Sunday only (1 hr each day, except game days)
    Games - 14-18, Varies by division, all local
    Sign up - Open sign-ups to all. Teams drafted.
    Cost - Approx. $700

       

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