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Hear from Past Players on their experience playing for the FV Hawks

Aleesa Luecker - St. Charles East (2021)

My name is Aleesa Luecker and I played for the Fox Valley Hawks throughout all four years of high school. I started playing hockey at a very young age on all boys teams and wanted to continue playing with boys going into high school. I wanted to be pushed more as an athlete and as a person on a day-to-day basis, which is exactly what the Fox Valley Hawks provided. Both of my brothers played for the Fox Valley Hawks and had nothing but positive things to say. Looking back on the last four years, I can recognize a difference in my work ethic and confidence, and it is for these reasons that I highly recommend the Fox Valley Hawks. 

Ethan Grant - St. Charles North (2021)

Playing for the Hawks these last four years has been a great experience. I knew in my first spring season that this is where I wanted to be for my next four years because of the chemistry between the teammates and the fun atmosphere this created. 

I've been playing hockey since I was a first year squirt, but I can confidently say that these past 4 years have been some of the best I've had. Whether It's winning tournaments or going to state, the hawks have always experienced success both on the ice and in the locker room. The Hawks promote a sense of fun in the locker room that allows you to be yourself.

The coaches for the hawks are the best coaches around for high school hockey. They don't just care about you as a player, but as a person. They are willing to talk about more than just your hockey life if you need to. They are not only good people but great coaches, they further advanced my hockey abilities to much farther than I thought they would in just a mere four years.

If you are looking for a club full of great players and coaches, and want to have a great experience while furthering your abilities, then the Fox Valley Hawks is the club you want to join. I am honored to have called myself a Hawk for the past 4 years.

Jack White - St. Charles East (2021)

I’ve been playing hockey since I was three and I’ve got to say, my 4 years at Fox Valley Hawks have been some of the most fun years of my hockey career. There is time to enjoy your high school life while also making new friends and forming new connections with the team. During my time at Fox Valley Hawks, I have grown as both a player and a person. I recommend to anyone even thinking about playing high school to come try it out and I promise you won’t regret it.

Josh Rosales - St. Charles North (2021)

Before the Hawks I had played for the same club my entire career. When it came time for high school, the thought of possibly leaving the team I had played with for so long was very scary. I had built up relationships and memories with my previous club and I didn't want to give all that up. However I did end up joining the Hawks after older classmates told me all about it. After I joined, I had absolutely no regrets about my decision. Playing for the Hawks gave me all new experiences that helped me become a better hockey player and a better person.  These skills will continue to help me throughout my life.

I of course had my worries when I joined. I didn't want it to end up like every other hockey club out there. I was glad to find that the Hawks are all about the individual players and making each one the best that they can be. There were no worries about being the new guy and getting overlooked simply because someone was there longer than me. 

My freshman and sophomore year I was lucky enough to play at the All-star game and represent my club. Those are two experiences that I will remember forever. It taught me that hard work and perseverance pays off. One more lesson I learned playing with the Hawks.  

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play on each team with all the coaches. The coaches weren't just worried about me as a hockey player but me as a whole individual. They made it a point to remind me that school and family came first but also emphasized to put my all into hockey when I was on the ice. I enjoyed playing at all levels of high school hockey. I learned many lessons my freshman and sophomore year that I was able to implement and play my best hockey my senior year.  Although my senior year was short, it was truly the best team I have ever played on.  We worked together to make that last year the best it could be.

Anyone looking for a place to have fun while playing competitive hockey and making great friends should come to the Fox Valley Hawks.  It was the best Hockey experience I've ever had.

Anthony Chiefari - Geneva High School (2020)

My name is Anthony Chiefari and I played goalie for the Hawks from my junior year to my senior year at the Varsity level. I played club hockey for the Geneva Cyclones, Chicago Blues, and Naperville Sabres before coming over to the Hawks. Playing hockey for the Fox Valley Hawks was one of the best decisions I have made as a hockey player and I wish I would have joined sooner. 

Going into it, I was skeptical about the level of competition and competitiveness. As a former Central States/AA player, I was looking for that same level of intensity but with less traveling and stress. Very early on, any doubts I had were put to rest. During my last year of AA at the U15 level, I was starting to lose my love and passion for the game. I came very close to quitting; thank god I didn’t. Playing for the Hawks allowed me to have fun playing the game again while still feeling the same sense of urgency and intensity that I felt at the AA level.

Another great thing about playing for the Hawks is that you get to be teammates with people from your high school/area- something that I never got to experience before at the AA level. I am grateful for having the opportunity to play hockey with some of my closest friends while also making friendships that will last a lifetime.

I would love to see Illinois high school hockey grow into what Minnesota high school hockey is today. The only way that happens is if skilled hockey players around Illinois decide to go against the stigma that high school hockey is less competitive than AA/AAA hockey. After several consecutive strong runs in the state tournament, the Hawks are on the verge of being one of the most well-respected combined clubs in the state. If you are on the edge of whether you should play for the Hawks or not, I guarantee you will enjoy playing the game so much more for the Hawks.

If you do not want to give up AA/AAA hockey, double rostering is totally manageable- the coaches are very supportive and understanding. They understand what is like to be a high school student-athlete. All they ask for is communication and honesty. I would recommend playing hockey for the Fox Valley Hawks for anyone who wants to enjoy playing the game at a high level without the stress of traveling around the Midwest every weekend.

Adrian Osborne - Batavia High School (2019)

I played for the Fox valley Hawks my junior and senior year of high school. Up until this point I had played club hockey my whole life. My freshman year I had left the hawks to go play club and I did regret that decision once I was able to see what the Hawks were about and I was able to experience playing for them myself.

The Hawks’ coaching staff was great and fun, something I didn’t necessarily experience with the club teams. The coaching staff did a great job of running a serious, competitive team while allowing us to have fun. We as players were able to interact with the coaches as if they were also players, we were able to give input on lines, plays, drills, etc. While not everything was put into action, they still listened to us which is something you don’t necessarily see at club teams. I didn’t feel restricted with the Hawks as I felt under other coaching staffs, I feel like this led myself to become a better player in games, and definitely lead to a more competitive team.

Both years we had competitive teams that were easily top 3 in our respective divisions. I wanted to mention this because I wanted to show that even though we were a little looser in our practices we were still competitive. This freedom the coaching staff showed us really transferred to games. It seemed that the team developed this bond through our practices that no matter who we played with we were able to adapt and produce. These fun practices made it so that we all ended up playing with each other in different line combinations, powerplays, penalty kills, and it would transfer to games when people were out or certain line combinations weren’t working out. This also allowed for players to breakout and play a more confident style of hockey instead of being restricted to certain line or positional play.

The Hawks as an organization is very good at combining these 4 school districts into a family on and off the ice. I ended up playing those last 2 years with most of the players who I would have played with my freshman year. The Hawks allow for players to work their way up from JV to varsity as an individual but also in a team format, something you can’t find in clubs with players moving in and out on a constant basis.

Overall the Hawks present a great opportunity to grow as a hockey player on a team and individual level. From the coaching staff to the friends I made to the games we played, the Fox Valley Hawks are a 10/10 organization. I wish I would have stayed my freshman year and experienced it for a full 4 years but nonetheless those last 2 years were a blast and I am glad I was able to play for them.

Jake Hummel - Kaneland High School (2017)

My name is Jake Hummel. I started playing hockey at the age of 5, and continued to do so until I graduated high school. I came up playing at a fairly competitive level with the Geneva Cyclones organization, playing at higher levels as I got older. This was until I became a sophomore in high school, and decided that for the first time in my life, I was going to take a year off of hockey.

I was tired of the long seasons and the dedication that it took to go out of town almost every weekend to play tournaments and even regular season games. I was looking for a break and at first, I enjoyed having free time in the fall to relax and hang out with my friends. It didn’t take long for me to get the itch to play again.

At that point, I was a bit rusty on my skills, but wanted to get back to playing hockey. Luckily for me, Coach Phil called me up and asked if I’d like to play for my school - a concept I thought was only around in Minnesota where high school hockey was bigger than Friday Night Lights. At first I was skeptical about going to play for the Hawks, as I had only ever played for one team my whole life. I am very glad I took Phil up on his offer, because I went on to play 2 of the most fun seasons of hockey I’ve ever played.

Going to the FV Hawks was a great choice for me, and I got exactly what I wanted out of it. I was able to play the game I loved without all the politics, high price tags and travel commitments of club teams.

The coaching staff is comprised of stand-up gentlemen who live and breathe the game of hockey. The Hawk coaches are always willing to help any player improve their skills or knowledge of the game, no matter the player or situation.

And the best (and wildest) part of playing for the Hawks was that as a junior and senior in high school, I was playing alongside many guys that I played against growing up. Being from different schools in the same area, many of my Hawks teammates played for opposing clubs when they were younger, and the Hawks were a culmination of a bunch of my former teammates and enemies.

The Fox Valley Hawks organization presents a great opportunity for hockey players of all levels of skill and experience, from those just starting their hockey journey to those who have been playing their entire lives.

Michael Warburton - St. Charles North (2018)

I played for the Fox Valley Hawks from my Freshman spring season to my senior year in high school. During my time on the Hawks I have had some of the most fun I have had playing hockey and this was because of how well the team chemistry was and the coaching staff.

I didn’t know that many people on my team when I first started with the hawks but after playing with most of the same people for 3 years you become into a mini family. By the time I was a senior, everyone knew each other so well that playing with the other guys was so much fun.

The coaching staff was one of the best coaching staff I have been under. You are able to grow as a player in this organization and they will push you to be the best player you can be. They really prepare you from going JV to Varsity in the short amount of time you are with them which is very impressive.

When I started to play for the hawks there were only two teams: JV and Varsity. Then when I left there were four teams, two JV and two Varsity. I had the privilege to be able to be Captain of the Varsity team when I was in Senior year.

The Fox Valley Hawks installed character traits into you to play as a team and win as a team that it's a team effort in every game and no ones gonna carry the team. They showed me that Hard work and dedication is the only thing that can push you to be the best player you can be. I can say playing for the Fox Valley Hawks was a life changing experience and if I had the choice again I would choose to play for them again.

Brendan Luecker - St. Charles East (2017)

I played club hockey my entire life before coming to the Hawks. After bouncing between club teams in my early high school years, I finally decided to make the jump and join the Hawks my junior year of high school. Instantly, I knew I had made the right decision. I already knew most of the people that were a part of the organization, and quickly formed chemistry with my teammates both on and off the ice. No matter what school you came from or what year you were, everyone was welcome and able to have fun, and the brotherhood that we developed as teammates is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

In addition to this fun and welcoming culture, I also was extremely appreciative of the competitive nature of the Hawks. While everyone wants to have fun, the goal of the sport is still to win. I would say this goal was achieved very successfully during my time with the Hawks, which in part came from the coaching staff, who taught us essential skills as both players and individuals. I have extreme respect for the coaches that I played under, especially due to the equal respect that they gave us as players.

Not only did I grow as a player, but also as an adult through the many lessons I learned while playing for the Hawks. Hard work, communication, dedication, sportsmanship, and success were all major lessons that I learned during my time with the Hawks. These lessons shaped me as an individual and allowed me to excel my game to an even higher level, where I went on to play at the ACHA D3 level during college.

Playing for the Hawks is absolutely the right decision if you are looking to form a brotherhood with teammates and develop your skills as both a hockey player and an individual. I had an amazing time playing for the Hawks, and would definitely recommend anyone to join the organization as well.

Matt Gerlach - Kaneland High School (2019)

I played for Fox Valley for all 4 years of high school (2015-2019) and I can say that it is a decision that changed my life for the better. I had played on teams that got along together well enough back in club hockey, but I never and will never be on teams that meshed so well together as ours did at Fox Valley. 

One thing about the Hawks is that if you start your 8th grade/Freshman year you will most likely be able to play with those people by the time you are a senior. By the time I was a senior, I had previously played with 17 out of the 20 guys on that team. This is an exceptional quality of The Hawks because by the time we were seniors, the whole team already knew each other and that created chemistry on and off the ice, and it also created life long friends which I talk to and play rat hockey with to this day. 

The coaching staff at The Hawks is the greatest that I have played under. When I came in, we only had two teams, a JV and a Varsity. I had the privilege to play for every single coach that The Hawks had and the way they develop players to get them ready for the competitiveness of Varsity high school hockey is very impressive. If you play for 4 years like I did, you create relationships with these coaches that create an easy going locker room environment. The Coaches know how to play the game the right way, and they teach you how to become a better hockey player. But one of the more important things is that they help you become a better and well rounded person. I was involved in too many extracurricular activities at school to name here, and as long as you are completely transparent that you will be missing practice for say a baseball game, or a band rehearsal or whatever it is, they will completely understand and negotiate a middle ground. This is something that in my experience I never found in club hockey. 

In The Fox Valley Organization, you are responsible for you. And as an 8th/9th grader that is a lot of responsibility. You are responsible for communication with your coaches, not your parents. This responsibility is what prepared me for the outside world past high school, and learning it at such an early age was massively important for not just my development as a hockey player, but as a human being.

One of the greatest things about the hawks is that your teammates and your coaches are always going to hold you accountable for what you do, the good and the bad. This accountability is an intense life skill that I am very grateful to have learned before I went to college, because when you move away, you are responsible for you, and nobody is there to take care of you. I can without a doubt say that choosing Fox Valley is one of the best choices I have ever made, and playing for the Hawks prepared me for life after hockey and high school. 

Joe Widick - St. Charles East (2021)

My name is Joe Widick and I was a goaltender for 4 years at the Fox Valley Hawks. I played two years on the JV one my freshman and sophomore years. My junior and senior years I played on the Varsity one team. I had a great experience playing with the Fox Valley Hawks, I grew as a goaltender and a person there.

Another great aspect of the Fox Valley Hawks is you get to have a great hockey experience while still having a social life and time for school. Personally I know kids that when fall time rolled around they become all about hockey until March because they are traveling every weekend out of state. The Fox Valley Hawks gave me the best four years of hockey like no other organization has done for me. I was able to make lifelong friendships and enjoy competitive hockey at the same time.

This all wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the coaching staff I had, so I would personally like to thank Coach Pete, Coach Phil, Coach Mark and Coach Steve for running a great program. I would also like to note that over the four years the Fox Valley Hawks organization has grown a lot because if it was not for Covid-19 the 2020-2021 Fox Valley Hawks Varsity team would have made a great run at the state playoff championship game. There is no doubt in my mind that we couldn’t do it because in the small amount of games played we were able to crush every team on the scoreboard.

Tanner Davidson - St. Charles North (2020)

I absolutely loved playing for the Fox Valley Hawks. I played for my last 2 years of high school. I had 2 of the best hockey seasons playing for the Hawks. Every year the team was super close and everyone really cared about each other and playing well. I have made some of my best friends through the Hawks and am excited to be able to go to college with some of my former teammates.

The coaching staff is amazing. The coaches know what they are talking about and care for their players on an individual level. The coaches push you to be the best player you can be. I know I could always go to my coaches and teammates if I needed anything.

When you play for the Hawks it not just a hockey team pulling from many schools but a family. If I could go back I would start playing for the Hawks sooner in my career because it was so much fun.

Chase White - St. Charles East (2019)

High school hockey with the hawks was a great experience for me. I started at 8th grade, I loved the way you can be eligible for spring as a 8th grader. It helps you get the feel for going to the next level as a 13-14 year old.

The coaches help you from when you walk into the door till the time you leave and give that senior speech at the last team dinner. The coaches in the hawks organization have been around for a long time, they coached my brother and he is 10 years older than me. They’ve had the experience and the knowledge to get the player and the team to become champions.

Some of the friendships you make through those four years will last a lifetime. I still miss the boys to this day. This organization made me want to be the best player I could be, because the coaches put each player in a specific role and I felt they helped each player be the best at what they are best at.

I’ve been playing junior hockey for 2 years and will be playing college for Montana state university D2 ACHA this 2021-2022 season. Give the hawks a shot I guarantee you won’t regret it! 

Ben Grizaffi - Batavia High School (2020)

My name is Ben Grizaffi and I played all four years while attending Batavia High for the Fox Valley Hawks. I came to the Hawks in the spring of 8th grade and never regretted my decision to transfer from club to the Hawks. Meeting all the great coaches and guys I skated with for the next four years was an amazing experience.

I played for Coaches Dan & Chris on JV1 my freshman year and Varsity2 my Sophomore year. My teammates and I had a great time playing for them and those two years together were some of the most fun times I've had. My Junior and Senior year I got to play for Phil and Mark on Varsity. Both of them were my favorite coaches I had the experience to play under in my 11 years playing hockey. They both taught me so much as a player, on and off the ice. Every time we had a practice or game I always looked forward to seeing them as well as the guys in the locker room and always sharing a laugh. 

My senior year I was named captain of the Varsity team. It truly was an honor to wear the “C” on my chest representing not only my school, but the Hawks as an organization. School always came first for me, but practicing and playing 2-3 games a week always put a smile on my face because whenever I was around the boys they made it feel like they were my second family. My father also served as the treasurer and president of the Hawks and loved his time being on the board and always coming to the rink to watch us play.

I had a lot of takeaways from the Hawks and have learned many life lessons playing all four years for them. Growing from a freshman to senior, you get to look up to the older guys and they teach you what it really means to be a Hawk. As you grow and progress you have the honor of leading by example for the younger guys by showing them the hard work and leadership it takes to play at the top level. The fact that five schools can come together and play as one team is truly remarkable. The Hawks are the one place you get to have fun playing hockey, as well as making friends from all the different schools.

Many countless memories were made throughout my four years and playing under such amazing coaches made the experience even better. I hope in the future you get the chance to put on the Hawk jersey and represent such an amazing organization!

Will Kanzler - Geneva High School (2021)

Out of the box, receiving a pass, 1 on 1 with the defenseman. Toe drag through his legs and over the goalie’s glove. Coming back to the bench Coach Mark said “that was possibly the best highlight reel goal ever”. That was the highlight of my short career with the Fox Valley Hawks. In the car ride home after my final game with the Hawks, my dad and I both shared the regret of not joining the Hawks sooner.

My hockey career consisted of NIHL through bantams, Cyclones U15 and U16 Central States, and two years at Sabres U18 Central States. I enjoyed the time going on road trips and playing out of state, like most young athletes do, but the thought of playing hockey for my school was always on my mind.

I can’t stress enough how much I wish I had join the Hawks sooner. The coaching staff used a mistake as a teaching moment, not a time of being scolded or benched. Everyone had an opportunity to learn and succeed regardless of talent level. To any future perspective Fox Valley Hawks players, I highly encourage not waiting until your senior year to play for Coach Phil and the Hawks organization.

Blake Connelly - St. Charles East (2020)

Hello everyone, my name is Blake Connelly. I played on the Varsity team my senior year of high school, and I was proud to be an Assistant Captain on the team. My hockey career began in elementary school, and from 8th grade to 11th grade I played Central States hockey. I did so for the Chicago Blues for three years and during my junior year I played for the Leafs out of West Dundee. I played spring hockey for the Hawks for two years before deciding to play for them in the fall.

After my fourth year of Central States hockey I was ready to hang up the skates and completely turn my focus to golf. I had lost the love for the game. I got a text from coach Steve asking me to come to tryouts in the fall (of my senior year). At first I thought no way I have moved onto golf and have lost interest in the game I loved for so many years. Then my cousin (Owen Anderson) sent me a text to come play for the hawks (I am assuming after Steve told him to reach out to me haha). All I have to say is thank you so much to Coach Steve and Owen for telling me to play. 

It is a complete understatement to say it was the best time I have ever had playing hockey. Coach Phil, Coach Mark, Coach Steve, and Coach Pete allowed me to love the game of hockey again. I was able to play Varsity golf as well as play for the Hawks. I cannot thank the coaching staff enough for being so flexible with my time. We made a great run in the league playoffs and in state. 

I would do anything to lace it up with the boys for one last shift. I can guarantee anybody who has played or will play for the Hawks would not disagree. Come play for the Hawks. I hope to see you grinding out a shift in the third period to secure a win for the team one day!

Danny Shaughnessy - Geneva High School (2019)

 I started off playing hockey in a club league and when I decided to join the Fox Valley Hawks, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Looking back now at the three years I played with the Hawks, I am so grateful that I made the decision to play with this organization. The coaching staff is the best I’ve ever played with. They are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the sport of hockey and know how to train you to become a great team and a great individual player. They know how to push you and will not take it easy on you but also treat the players with respect and want to help you as a player and as a person.

Another concern I had when joining was how good the chemistry would be between the other players in the organization and I. The teams I played with during my time with the FV Hawks were some of the best teams I’ve ever been on.  A great thing about this organization is that each year you move forward you play with a lot of the same teammates and are able to keep great chemistry.  We were all genuine friends even off the ice and I still talk to them from time to time years after playing. Playing with the Fox Valley hawks was the best decision I made during my hockey career.

Johnny Ambrogio - St. Charles North (2019)

Hello future Fox Valley Hawks players, my name is Johnny Ambrogio and I played for the Hawks from 2016 to 2019. I was on varsity for three years and was an assistant caption junior year and a caption my senior year. I also played club hockey for most of my High school career. I started out at the Chicago Bruins and when I moved to St. Charles I changed clubs and went to the Cyclones and by my sophomore year in high school I decided to try out with the Hawks and I never looked back after that.

Through the years of playing different sports and having different coaches I honestly can tell you that I have learned many life lessons playing for the hawks. Life lessons such as: accountability, hard work, leadership, and communication. Those were just some of the very important life lessons I learned from my years as a Hawk.

I was never a person who got into the politics of hockey and neither was my family. The biggest relief that I had when I came to the hawks and decided to call them family was that there was absolutely no politics. I liked this because it allowed us, as players, in the program a chance to compete with each other. Coach never cared who you were, what team you played for or where you came from. The only thing the coaches cared about was allowing us to compete with each other with no other distractions.

When you join the Hawks, as a player, you are the communicator. The parents were not involved and this allowed me to learn the life lessons I learned, such as communication. The coaches at the Fox valley Hawks want to not only create a good hockey player but most of all a great man or woman. The coaches were able to do this by leaving politics out of their club. It was as simple as if you needed to miss practice or wanted to talk about something with the coach you would have to be the one to sit down with him and communicate your issue. It was good for High schoolers to learn this because as a college student your parents are no longer there to hold your hand. 

I had a lot of takeaways from the Hawks but when I was a senior and was the varsity captain a lot of younger guys would come up to me and ask "can I play other sports and still play hockey for the Hawks"? The answer to that question is absolutely you can. I played football and hockey the whole time as a Hawk. The coaches believe that high schoolers should not have to be forced to pick between two sports. They will never ask you to pick one or the other, the only thing they will ask for is communication and honesty. As long as you communicate and be honest if you have to miss a practice they will never be mad at you. During the end of football season and the start of hockey season things would overlap sometimes and occasionally I would have to miss practice because of football. The coaches always supported me and never got upset with me for missing as long as I communicated that I was not going to be there and was honest why. 

At the end of the day I can go on and on about the reasons why the Fox Valley Hawks are a good choice. I truly loved my time as a hockey player for the hawks. I would like to say that when you join the Hawks hockey team you join a community of people that will be your brothers and family. I am two years out of high school and I still go and play pick up games with my teammates, younger and older than me.

At this program you will be able to surround yourself with great people and great coaches and be able to learn and develop as a person and as a hockey player. I can promise you that what you learn from this program will give you a jumpstart compared to many others. To this day things such as accountability, hard work, leadership and communication are all huge personality traits coaches at the next level and even professors are looking for.

I hope you read this and now have a better understanding of what exactly the Fox Valley Hawks are about. I promise you that you will not be disappointed if you choose to become a Hawk! 

Hunter Christerson - St. Charles East (2020)

Hello, I am Hunter Christerson, I played for the hawks throughout all of my high school career. During the time that I spent on the ice I met a lot of people, from the coaches to the players and have made many friends. Not only did it help me make some new friends at my school, but you meet people from the other 4 nearby schools.

Playing for the hawks was one of the most fun things I could imagine, the coaches were always super nice and wanted to see you get better, its especially nice knowing that they want to win just as much as you do.

The competitive atmosphere was always my favorite and I always looked forward to gameday, nothing compares to stepping onto the ice during warmups and preparing for the game ahead. The FV Hawks have also allowed me to meet some of the people I still talk to and see today, even in college. The program is awesome and I highly recommend giving it a try, you’ll have a lot of fun and meet the coaches that taught me a lot of what I know today.

Joe Gitchell - Geneva High School (2020)

Hello, my name is Joe Gitchell, I played four years with the FV Hawks, I played two years on JV and two on Varsity. Before my time with the Hawks, I played club hockey since I was about ten-eleven years old. While initially I was concerned with the transition from club to high school, regarding competition and resources, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the level of play was fast paced and competitive, the coaches and staff were knowledgeable and more than well equipped, and the environment was positive and centered around development.

While the organization itself was and still is renowned for its ability to continuously put forth winning teams, of which I had the pleasure of being part of a few, the most important part of my career with the Hawks was the people. I met some of my closest friends through hockey in general, but by far the most during my high school years. The structure of a coop team allows for people outside of your specific school to be exposed to you, when normally you would only see each other on the opposing bleachers of football games. The comradery established throughout a season with the Hawks with my fellow teammates was unmatched, I ended up in college a few states away and there’s multiple Hawks alumni I see on a regular basis on campus.

Overall, the Fox Valley Hawks is an incredible organization that provided me with a never ending supply of exercise, entertaining hijinks, friendships, and kept me off the mean streets at 11:45pm on Wednesdays.  

Chris Monroe - Batavia High School (2018)

When I first tried out for the Hawks I was a sophomore. My freshman year I had played club hockey with the Sabres, and had no idea what I wanted to do next. Since I was also playing football, I wanted to be able to make as much football and hockey as I could, so I decided to play for the Hawks. It would end up being one of the best decisions I made in high school.

All three of my years with the hawks, I had a great experience. The team was always close and the teammates were great, no matter how many teammates from the previous year graduated, or who was from what school. One of the best things about hawks was the culture- it was a ton of fun, but still competitive and serious. 

Another one of my favorite things about the Fox Valley Hawks was definitely the coaches. Across the whole organization, the coaches were fantastic, always fun and motivating, and most importantly, they know the game of hockey well. They were easy to get along with, and always treated us with respect. The coaches were especially good to me, always accommodating my schedule with football, and for that I’ll always be thankful.

I had an absolute blast playing for the Hawks and would absolutely recommend it for any hockey players in the FV area.

Owen Schuster - Batavia High School (2018)

After playing club hockey for about six years, I joined the Fox Valley Hawks during my senior year of high school, and without a doubt, it was one of the most enjoyable years of hockey that I played.

The games were competitive; the coaches were fair, knowledgeable, and dedicated; my teammates were really good hockey players; and despite the fact that I joined in the last possible year of my high school career, I really felt like I was a part of the Fox Valley Hawks community as a whole.

One thing I’ll never forget is our first game in the state playoffs when we beat a team in the division above us to advance to the semi-finals. Prior to that year, I had never once been on a team that made it past the first round of the state playoffs (admittedly, my season the year before I played for the Hawks was abruptly ended in the playoffs by a team that was younger than us), and I attribute the different outcome with the Hawks to the exceptionally welcoming and tight-knit nature of the organization that promoted team development and success throughout the season and into the playoffs.

Overall, playing for the Fox Valley Hawks was a great experience for me, and I believe that it will be for others as well.

Sean Flanagan - St. Charles North (2020)

Playing for the Fox Valley Hawks was an amazing experience for me and truly brought me some of the best memories and friends I could have ever asked for. I joined the Hawks because I wanted a hockey experience that was more laid back than playing club and while I got this I also saw myself improve at the game at a much faster pace than I ever did at club hockey. Besides making me a better hockey player, the Fox Valley Hawks made me a better person, student, and teammate.

The four years I spent playing for the Fox Valley Hawks were some of the best times I can remember having. The coaching at the Hawks was some of the best I have ever had not just because of the coaches knowledge about the game and amazing coaching abilities but because all of the coaches I had felt more like friends than coaches and were always there to talk about any problems you were having even if they had nothing to do with hockey.

To anyone looking to join the hawks and make the transition from club hockey to high school, I would one hundred percent recommend it!  

Derek Luecker - St. Charles East (2019)

My name is Derek Luecker and I played for the Fox Valley Hawks throughout my 4 years in high school. I had previously played for other sports clubs before joining the Fox Valley Hawks, but after playing on their Junior Varsity and Varsity teams, I recognize a drastic, positive difference in my athleticism and discipline.

Over my 10 years of playing hockey, I have excelled most during my time with the Fox Valley Hawks High School Hockey program. The coaches practiced and demonstrated a strong, positive mentality of respect, dedication, and discipline that pushed each player to grow physically and mentally. I can clearly see that I have grown significantly as an adult thanks to the opportunities I had playing for the Fox Valley Hawks. With an emphasis on skill development and hard work, I enjoyed those last years of hockey more than ever before. 

The memories I made with my teammates and coaches are unforgettable, even after many years of being away from the ice. The camaraderie I found playing with my fellow teammates was incredibly rewarding. Success followed in the footsteps of teamwork, and I can confidently say that choosing to play for the Fox Valley hawks was a major success.

It is with gratitude and respect that I now look back at my time playing for the Fox Valley Hawks, and if I had the choice to play for them all over again, I would not hesitate to do so.

Tommy Purton - Geneva High School (2018)

I really enjoyed playing for the Fox Valley Hawks.  It provided me with the foundation to continue playing the game at higher levels.  Coach Phil and his staff focused not only on the results of the game, but how to play the game the right way, emphasizing skill, strategy and sportsmanship.  I have played hockey for 15 years in several different states for several different programs growing up and I can honestly say that with the Hawks, more than any other team I played for, that the coaches believed in me and put me in a position to succeed. 

The camaraderie between teammates was great too – we were a great group and that togetherness translated to success on the ice.  During my 3 years with the Hawks, each year the team had success, even as we played tougher competition.  During my sophomore year, we had an undefeated regular season.  Then for my junior and senior years, we had considerable success in the state tournament.  So, the program is growing and only getting better.  Obviously, any hockey player plays the game for 2 main reasons – to have fun and to win.  With the Fox Valley Hawks, I experienced both.

Josh Gadow - St. Charles East (2017)

In the most simple terms, the Hawks organization is the place to go to have fun playing hockey. I grew up playing club hockey at the Cyclones and Bruins until my Freshman year of high school. I made the switch over to high school to avoid all the politics involved in club, and it was the best decision I ever made in my career.

During my time at the Hawks (2013-2017), I made friends from five different high schools in the area that I never would’ve had the chance to meet without joining their organization. It started as a club with one team that got moved down from Varsity to JV midway through the season due to a shortage of players. By my senior year, we had a Varsity team and two JV teams that were very successful. The coaches at the club are amazing! They know that school comes first and that things happen and are willing to work with your schedule. Games are competitive and practices are fun and hard working at the same time.

Playing for this club allowed me to improve my game and allowed me to go on to play at the next level which was ACHA D2. Long story short, make the switch to this organization and your hockey experience will set you up for success on and off the ice.

Ian Bain - Batavia High School (2020)

In my freshman year of high school, I tried out for the Hawks as a backup plan in case I did not make the U15 Central States team. The tryouts for Hawks were actually a ton of fun and I later made the decision to not even try out for the Central States team. Looking back on it, it had to be one of the best decisions I made in high school.

My freshman year, my team consisted of kids that I had played with in the past on other club teams and some returning hawks players. That year had to be the most fun I have ever had playing hockey. I have played hockey for over 14 years at this point and the Fox Valley Hawks stands out as my favorite. The Hawks never fails to have good leadership and excellent locker room chemistry. I still maintain contact with multiple teammates after leaving high school.

The biggest bonus to playing for the Hawks was being able to balance hockey with school. The coaches are always understanding if something comes up with school but keep the team disciplined at the same time. The Fox Valley Hawks is great for athletes of all talents as it has a place for everyone.

Connor Becker - Batavia High School (2020)

Playing for the Fox Valley Hawks was the best 4 year stretch of hockey I have ever played and I enjoyed every minute of it. The Hawks are a great organization that taught me a lot throughout my high school hockey career. The coaches are great people who you can develop a great relationship with, and they all love the game. They really helped me develop as a player in the event that I wanted to move on and play college hockey. They taught me a lot, one thing that I am glad they pushed was accountability, because accountability is not just hockey and I feel it helped me grow as a person. I am very thankful for everything that the organization and coaches have done for me, if I was an 8th grader again I would 100% choose the Fox Valley Hawks again without a doubt.

John Macdonald - Geneva High School (2021)

My name is John “Donny” MacDonald and I played defense for the Hawks for four seasons at the JV and Varsity level. I was also Captain for 2 years during my time at the Hawks. My youth hockey career consisted of playing for the Chicago Bruins, Darien Hawks, and the West Dundee Leafs. The difference between these clubs and the Fox Valley Hawks is the Hawks' ability to work with individual players and create personal connections to help them reach the next level. 

This also teaches the players important life lessons which are hard to learn outside of sports like overcoming adversity and the value of hard work. Unfortunately there is a stigma in the Illinois hockey community that high school hockey is not “competitive.” This is simply not the case as the best teams I have ever been on were with the Hawks. I encourage all players to consider the Hawks to be their high school hockey home.

 

Nick Butzler - Batavia High School (2020)

Hello, my name is Nick Butzler and I played all four years with the Fox Valley Hawks organization. To start off, the coaches and the organization as a whole are very enjoyable and determined. I was always excited to head to games and practices because I knew I would be surrounded by great coaches and even the teammates themselves. The four years I played at the Hawks were the most fun times I have experienced. Additionally, our teammates always bonded well and had good times on and off the ice. 

Altogether the Fox Valley Hawks are a great organization and a great time. I have met lifelong friends and had some of the best memories when playing for the Hawks. The level of competitiveness is still there and is a great experience to continue your hockey career. I would recommend that everyone should join the Hawks to be a part of the great environment they provide.

Will Lesswing - St. Charles North (2017)

My experience with the Hawks not only gave me some of the best memories of my hockey career but also helped me develop the love and passion for the game I have today. Thinking back on the memories I have with the Hawks, I can certainly say this organization is the only reason I decided to keep playing in college.

From the great coaching to the fun teammates and competitive hockey, the Hawks is overall the best hockey organization in the area. I especially appreciated that the coaches were very flexible with school and other sports. Knowing that I could play competitive hockey without it taking over my life was one of the reasons I found my passion for the game again. This wouldn't have happened if I hadn't made the choice to play for the Hawks sophomore year. I would highly recommend playing for the Hawks at any skill level, as the Hawks offer a great environment for experienced players and new players to grow their skills while still enjoying fun, competitive hockey.

Michael Schroeder - Kaneland High School (2021)

Hey, I’m Michael Schroeder. I was a goalie for the Hawks from the Spring of sophomore year through Senior year. I had started playing hockey my freshman year and I went out for the Hawks to join a high school team. I improved my game a lot from joining this team and was the goalie for a varsity hockey team less then a year after I joined. I really loved playing for this team. I met a lot of great people and got a lot of great playing experience. I have also been very involved with band through high school, so it is a good team to play for if you are trying to be involved with multiple activities. You get good practice, but it doesn’t take all your time. I did have some difficult moments in hockey, but that happens. But, I always had people there to help me through it. I came a long way in hockey and just improved as a person because of the environment I had become a part of.

Matt Steele - St. Charles North (2019)

The Fox Valley Hawks is an outstanding organization and I can’t really think about having played high school hockey with anyone else. I played with the Hawks from my freshman to senior year and loved every minute of it. I went to them with my main goal as improving my hockey skills, but I came out with so much more. Not only was I a much better hockey player, but I was also a part of a great and inclusive family. 

Starting hockey relatively late at the age of 11, it was hard to integrate smoothly into a group of boys that had been together for so long. But with Hawks, it felt like I had been with them for my whole life. Pretty much everyone from the top varsity to the lower JV knew each other, including the coaches. This was really advantageous because it meant a lot of the players stuck together all four years and the coaches were able to not only make the team better, but also it meant that since my teammates and I knew each other so well, we learned how to work together.

By the last season I had played, we were able to make it to the championship and I felt that played a large role in our success. Fox Valley Hawks created some amazing friendships for me, and I met and played with so many awesome people. In addition, having the same coaches was helpful; both because the coaches we have are great and knowledgeable, and because having them for a while allowed coaching styles to settle in and allowed coaches to recognize strengths and weaknesses of each player - where they would help players with what they felt needed help and used their strengths to help the team win. 

Overall, choosing to play for the Fox Valley Hawks is one of my best decisions I have ever made, because of all the skills, great memories, and great friendships that came with it.

Jake Granger - Batavia High School (2020)

When I had joined the Hawks I didn’t really know what to expect. I was just a freshman looking for some ice time and to get better too. It wasn’t until I met the coaches that I started to really feel like I could fit in. All the coaches create such a good structure for the Hawks and really make you push yourself to be a better hockey player.

Also, being on a team with kids from other schools is super fun because you make lots of friends and memories. I think other hockey players should join the Hawks not only to make friends and have fun but also take the next step in the right direction to become the best hockey player you can be. 

Trevor Kurtzahls - St. Charles North (2016)

One of the reasons that I enjoyed playing for the Hawks was the friendships that I had made with the guys. We were a tight-knit group, and the relationships I formed made it an experience unlike any other of my prior clubs. I constantly found myself looking forward to the next time we got to skate, especially since I got to see my teammates off the ice at school and on ice in the evenings.

Another reason that I enjoyed playing for the Hawks is the coaching staff. Their helpful guidance led to our success as a group and to my individual abilities as well. They would always address us with respect, which is something that I really appreciated.

People often say that high school is a unique time to grow and learn as an individual. I found this to be true, especially since my experience with the Hawks helped me to grow more confident in my abilities and taught me to better communicate with teammates.

I would encourage anyone interested to play for the Hawks because of the opportunity to not only grow your skills on the ice, but also to make great friends and grow as a person.

Dom Iovinelli - St. Charles North (2016)

I joined the Hawks in the spring of 2012 going into high school and I never thought about joining another team after that. It might sound cliche when someone tells you that your team is like your family, but it's the truth. When you play with the same guys for 4 years, it builds a bond like nothing else.

Your coaches become your mentors and your teammates become some of your life long friends. Everyone on the team pushes you to be the best player you can be, all while having a great time playing the game we love. You learn a lot about yourself as a player and a person.

I would go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat. Anyone looking to join a great team, make long term friendships and play real good hockey should definitely join the Hawks!

Brett Herman - St. Charles East (2019)

My experience with the Fox Valley Hawks significantly improved my high school experience through the players, coaches, and the fun of the game itself. Every part of the organization always made me appreciate the game more and helped me improve as a player and a person.

The wide variety of players’ attitudes and personalities were generally positive, which helped us connect both on and off the ice. They didn’t hold grudges or blame specific people for the outcomes of plays, they just got back in the game and kept pushing forward. Getting to know people from different schools helped me meet people that I never would have outside of the Hawks.

The coaches made me want to be on the ice constantly, be it practice, or game. Luckily, the frequent practices and games let me show my passion for hockey often, and team play was encouraged any time we were on the ice. They didn’t care whether we won or not, but they always expected us to give it everything we had. They knew how to give individualized support with each aspect of our game and knew how to push us to our limits to achieve success. It was obvious that the coaches cared about our success as players and in our lives outside of the game.

There were always opportunities for me to improve as a player, to make a better team, and play competitively with the Hawks. They were by far the best organization I have played for, and I’ve never been more passionate about hockey because of my time with the Hawks.

Jake Kosmala - St. Charles North (2017)

The Fox Valley Hawks were not only my first hockey team, but the first organized sports team I ever played on.  The first thing that stood out to me when I joined the Hawks was the welcoming, inclusive atmosphere on the team as a whole.  My coaches expressed a genuine interest in my development as a hockey player and often went out of their way to assist me in improving myself both on and off the ice.  My teammates, especially the older and more experienced members of the team, provided me with great examples of leadership and dedication, while also making me feel welcome and a part of the team.  

My biggest takeaway from my time with the Hawks was the emphasis the club places on discipline.  Players are expected to display maturity and respect for authority, while holding themselves and each other accountable, whether it consists of going to training sessions, showing up for practice on time, or displaying sportsmanship on the ice.  The sense of accountability, self-discipline, and respect which my experience with the Hawks gave to me carried over into other areas of my life and helped me to become a better, more well-rounded person.  

Playing hockey for the Fox Valley Hawks is not only an enjoyable and memorable time, but a learning experience from which you will draw lessons and values that will last a lifetime.  

Owen Anderson - St. Charles North (2021)

For me the best thing about playing for the hawks is the team bonding experience. My junior season I played with my cousin and that year for me was the most memorable, it was the most fun I’d have my youth hockey career! Also for me I was looking for a fun place to play because I have goals in my life past hockey and most organizations prioritize hockey over everything but the hawks coaching staff understands we are busy young teenagers that may need to take off practice in order to do something important for us and our future.

Sean Corkery - Geneva High School (2018)

Growing up I had found a love for hockey, but a big issue came to be the expenses of playing travel hockey. The Fox Valley hawks allowed me to finally play for a travel hockey team that did not go out of state every weekend and was affordable. The Hawks brought me so many friends from all ages that I would never have thought I would associate myself with.

When I joined the hawks in 2014 I was just entering high school as well. The training camps over the summer actually made the transition to high school much easier because I was able to meet people going to my high school. This allowed that first day to be just a little less stressful as I saw a few familiar faces.

The hawks taught me how to actually care and put my all into an activity. Coaches Dan and Chris would push us to our max every practice and always motivated us to do our best. They also really were our friends as well and would fool around and laugh and joke with us as if they were just another player on the team. Coach Steve also really connected with the team. He would sit and talk to a player if they were having a bad game, go and congratulate another if they were having a great game.

The thing that really made the hawks so much different from any other team I played for was the personal relationships and memories I made with each and every one of the members on the team. That's something I will cherish forever. Although many of us have all gone our separate ways, I still keep in touch with my past teammates as much as I can. If you’re looking for a hockey team that doesn’t just care about winning, but also cares about growing each player into the best they can be then the Fox Valley Hawks is for you.

Nathan Rei - Kaneland HIgh School (2021)

My time with The Fox valley hawks organization and all the memories that came from playing under them for 3 years are some of my most treasured memories. The culture they have created there is one of improvement and growth. The coaches there always pushed me and my teammates to work harder and grow as both a person and a player.

Success may not have come right away for me and many other players, but the excellent coaches at FVH were always there to help us grow and eventually find that success that we all came to the club for. I highly recommend that all players give the hawks a shot and stick around. 

Michael Delsignore - St. Charles East (2021)

During my four years with the Hawks I had fun and made friends while developing my skills. Games were competitive and well organized at all levels. The coaching staff maintained personal relationships with all players and enforced a disciplined style of play. I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in the program, and I highly recommend incoming freshman, club players, and all other high school age players to consider playing here.

Jake Raymer - St. Charles North (2016)

I played for the Fox Valley Hawks organization for all four years in high school. My freshman year we only had one team and we were playing at the Leafs Center but by my senior year we had multiple teams and we were playing at FVIA. I am extremely happy I decided to play for the Hawks, the people I met and the coaches that changed my life for the better will be something I am forever thankful for.

Being able to represent St. Charles North as well as play with other players from St. Charles East, Batavia, Geneva, and Kaneland truly was a unique, rewarding experience. I made lifelong friends and memories that I wouldn’t have made playing for another organization. For these reasons I highly recommend anyone looking to play hockey in high school choose to play for the Hawks. The level of competition and amount of fun you will have truly can’t be beaten.

Kyle Caithamer - Batavia High School (2020)

I played for the Fox Valley Hawks all four years of high school and I am very glad that I chose to play for them because it made me the player that I have become. I played through all levels starting at JV 2 and ending with Varsity 1. They helped me become a better player and I met a lot of my friends in the program.

I liked that the hawks were a smaller organization because every coach would learn your name regardless if you have played for them or not. The Fox Valley Hawks are a great program for anyone to be a better player.

Mal Mullaghy - Geneva High School (2021)

My name is Malachy Mullaghy and my time with the Fox Valley Hawks can best be described as fun. When I joined the program in my 8th grade year I was beyond excited. The Fox Valley Hawks gave me my first chance at real competitive hockey. While I was not the best player on the ice I would always give it my all and cherished the few goals I got. From my first game up until my last I was proud to represent this great organization.

Unlike other players in this program I never got to play club hockey so the Hawks gave me my first chance at real hockey. I loved playing for all the coaches I played for because I could tell that they wanted to see us grow not only as players but as people. Being a part of this program taught me how to be a leader and in my Junior year I received the honor of being an assistant captain for my team. I could not recommend the Fox Valley Hawks enough. They truly want to help you become a better player. I’m so grateful to have played for this organization.

Joe Mullaghy - Geneva High School (2019)

Playing for the FV Hawks gave me some of my most memorable moments playing sports. Having teammates from schools around the area gave a fun competition between our rival schools. I met people I never would have otherwise and they became some of my best friends.  The coaches know what they're talking about and I can't thank them enough. Only because of my positive experience playing FV Hawks, I decided to keep playing hockey through college. 

Derek Bex - Batavia High School (2018)

What I loved the most about playing for the Fox Valley Hawks was that it offered me an opportunity to keep playing the sports I loved. As a multi-sport athlete, the Hawks worked with me and allowed me to continue playing football and hockey and for that I was grateful. The friendships and competition that I had experienced while being a Fox Valley Hawk were some of the best memories that I’ve had during my 9 year hockey career and I will hold on to them for some time.

Martynas Sapiega - St. Charles North (2017)

My first season with the Hawks was playing for the JV team. The subsequent year I was finishing my last season of hockey on the varsity team. During this time I had become a far more skilled and well rounded player, all thanks to the support and guidance that the coaches at all levels provided, pushing me to focus on improving skills that I had struggled with. The coaches have a great eye for untapped potential in every player, and strongly motivate everyone to improve their game. Even though I played hockey for much of my childhood, going through many teams and several organizations, the experience that I got on the Hawks will forever stand out from my time playing hockey.

Jackson Hagerty - St. Charles North (2020)

The Fox Valley Hawks provided me a place to play the sport I enjoy as well as led me to meet some of my best friends to this day. I enjoyed all 4 years of playing for the hawks and if given the opportunity to play with them again I would do it in a heartbeat.