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Building for the future: Woodstock hockey coaches start camp with college in mind

  • Graeme McKeon, 16, of Woodstock, Vt., skates through a drill during the Green Mountain Exposure hockey camp in Woodstock, on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Jennifer Hauck

  • Hockey players gather during the morning session for the Green Mountain Exposure hockey camp in Woodstock, Vt., on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Bill Kangas, who coaches at Williams, instructs the players. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hockey player Angus Frew, 15, of Hanover, N.H., is part of the Green Mountain Exposure hockey camp which runs this week in Woodstock, Vt. On Thursday, July 29, 2021, Frew listens to instruction from one of the coaches. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Jennifer Hauck

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/29/2021 9:43:21 PM
Modified: 7/29/2021 9:43:25 PM

WOODSTOCK — After working together with Woodstock Union High boys hockey last year, John Rose and Jon Chamberlain came up with an idea.

They wanted to bring a hockey showcase to the Upper Valley and give local high school hockey players a chance to interact with high-level collegiate coaches.

And thus the Green Mountain Exposure camp took off. The showcase is ongoing at Woodstock’s Union Arena all week.

Rose, an ex-Dartmouth College assistant who volunteered with Woodstock last year, said the goal was simply to get the area more exposure — hence the name.

“We decided to start Green Mountain Exposure to accommodate the local hockey community without having to travel to Boston or Concord, if they can get the exposure with colleges and junior teams right in their backyard,” Rose said. “The quality of the hockey’s been good. We have a good complement of players that could go, in time, (NCAA) Division I, and we have some really strong Division III candidates.”

Green Mountain Exposure was open for any athletes age 14 and older. Rose said that in the event’s first year, they drew 37 kids — eight of whom, he estimated, are local. Other athletes flew in from across the country, as far as California and Las Vegas. They ended up with two full teams with six goalies. There was one female goalie, but the rest of the participants were males.

Rose added that while he’s pleased the showcase was appealing enough for people to fly in for, he wants to emphasize it to the Upper Valley as much as possible.

Chamberlain — Woodstock’s head coach — and Rose brought on incoming Dartmouth freshman Steven Townley, the former Woodstock High standout who played junior hockey the last three winters, to assist with the showcase. Chamberlain said Townley has been an important role model for the kids as a local product heading to Division I hockey.

The two coaches set up the curriculum themselves and oversee the operation, but each day’s activities are run by a rotating group of college coaches.

Coaches from 19 different schools, including 15 Division I programs, are participating in the showcase. On Thursday, coaches from the University of Vermont, Hobart College and Williams College instructed the kids. Each day consists of two practice sessions, a seminar and a game.

The kids aren’t the only ones who are spending the week learning.

“Obviously it’s great for the area, but it’s also really good for me,” Chamberlain said. “It’s a chance to learn from some Division I, Division III college coaches.”

Rose said the kids will have a lot to take away from the showcase. The practices and strength training will help them on the ice, and the seminars will help them both on and off the ice.

Part of the seminar curriculum, Rose said, included the recruiting process and teaching the kids how to get noticed by colleges.

Both coaches said the experience of organizing the showcase and working with the kids has been gratifying.

“It's very rewarding in the fact that they have an experience that they can take with them,” Rose said. “A lot of these players, especially locally, don't have the exposure to high-end college coaches. So I think for us, at the end of the day, if we can bridge to opportunities that these kids might not have gotten, I think that's a big thing for us.”

Rose and Chamberlain are proud of how the first year of the showcase has gone, but they both envision bigger things. They want to attract more local talent in the future, but they picture this event expanding even beyond the ice.

“(We're) just really focused on the kids of the Upper Valley, exposing them to college coaches. It's a great experience that this area's never seen. Actually, mainly the state of Vermont has never seen,” Chamberlain said.

“That's why I'm really excited about this. Eventually, as this thing grows, hotels, restaurants, just for the area, it's going to be big for the whole thing.”

Seth Tow can be contacted at stow@vnews.com.




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