Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni Fundraiser

Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni Fundraiser

From Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni

Our youth hockey association needs continuous financial support in order to ensure the future of youth and high school hockey in the Sauk Centre area. We rely on generous donors to help carry on our local hockey legacy.

Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni

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Update #10

3 months ago

PeeWee Hockey 1988-1989

Coached by Joe Wessel and Bob Hoffman

(front L to R) Josh Beissel, Darin Rieland, Ryan Bodeker, Andy Gottwald, Randy Schloegl (middle L to R) Ben Hinnenkamp, Ty Uhlenkamp, Ryan Kleinschmidt, Brian Marthaler, Matt Kane, Joe Wessel (back L to R) Bob Hoffman, Nick Hoffman, Zach Otte, Jason Schneider, David Emmel

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A future goal of the Sauk Centre/Melrose Youth Hockey Association is to offer Mighty Mites and Mites youth hockey free of charge to players and families. Association registration numbers are declining. We hope that, by offering free hockey to our youngest players, we will foster a love for hockey and grow our youth program. Donated funds will help to make this dream a reality!

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
3 months ago

Update #11

PeeWee Hockey 1988-1989

Coached by Joe Wessel and Bob Hoffman

(front L to R) Josh Beissel, Darin Rieland, Ryan Bodeker, Andy Gottwald, Randy Schloegl (middle L to R) Ben Hinnenkamp, Ty Uhlenkamp, Ryan Kleinschmidt, Brian Marthaler, Matt Kane, Joe Wessel (back L to R) Bob Hoffman, Nick Hoffman, Zach Otte, Jason Schneider, David Emmel

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #9

Indoor ice
Sauk Centre Civic Arena turns 30
By Ben Sonnek | STAFF WRITER

For three decades, the Sauk Centre Civic Arena has been a gathering place for the community, hosting hockey games and a number of other events — bike rodeos, expos, inter-school educational displays and even the 2021 prom.
The building may need some help to get through another 30 years, but for now, its mural continues to welcome visitors and residents alike.
Tom Oberg was Sauk Centre’s hockey coach when the civic arena first opened. He started coaching hockey in 1980 as a bantam coach for a couple of years, later coaching a high school-age team which was not affiliated with Sauk Centre High School. They would play at the hockey rink near the Sauk River dam.
To stay viable, the team needed two things: affiliation with SCHS and an indoor rink. More teams on their level were entering the high school league, and Sauk Centre’s hockey games were at the mercy of the weather.
“A couple of my old players, we were talking about what would’ve happened this year,” Oberg said. “We would have had to cancel the whole season, probably. There would’ve been no way to keep the rink going down there.”
Hockey boosters, including hockey players’ parents, worked for about seven years to make the civic arena a reality. They held pancake breakfasts and sold croissants and soda at Sinclair Lewis Day parades. In the weeks before the arena opened, they leveled ground, dug trenches and put up boards inside the building.
“Rick Kleinschmidt, God rest his soul, was pretty much the spearhead behind the whole thing,” Oberg said.
“There were a lot of parents (involved) for that to happen; they worked hard.”
Oberg also credits Bob Borgmann, who worked for the city of Sauk Centre at the time.
“(Borgmann) went so far above and beyond the call of duty,” Oberg said. “It was incredible.”
Funds were also raised on behalf of Ryan Neal, one of the hockey players. He would have been a high school senior in 1994, but he died as a sophomore in July 1992 from injuries sustained in a car crash. In his memory, the Building Ryan’s Dream fundraiser brought in more money for the arena project.
The arena’s opening night was Jan. 11, 1994, with a game against Park Rapids. Having recently been incorporated with SCHS, the hockey team was playing under the Streeters name. Although they lost 3-2, the crowd of 150 in attendance bolstered the evening’s energy.
“There was a lot of excitement,” Oberg said. “It was crazy that we were in a new place.”
When it opened, the arena still had dirt floors under the rink and in the locker rooms, but concrete was soon added and more environmental systems were installed so games were no longer weather-dependent.
Oberg continued coaching until he stepped down as head coach in 1996; he returned as an assistant coach before retiring from hockey coaching in 2002. In his eyes, the Sauk Centre Civic Arena brings plenty of business to the community through tournaments, but its primary benefit is to local children.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to play,” Oberg said. “It is a nice place. I have a lot of great memories there with a lot of great people.”
Today, Sauk Centre Public Works Director Ben Clink is one of the people who maintains the civic arena. While the building has been showing its age, there are parts that have held together well. The ice plant that keeps the ice cool, including its four compressors, is as old as the building but is still working well, even though it has exceeded its expected lifespan.
“There are some things we’re looking at there in the next few years that we’ll have to do to upgrade the compressor system, but that’s been good,” Clink said.
An assessment performed a couple of years ago turned up a number of issues that need addressing. For instance, the arena has a rubber and rock roof with a 20-25 year lifespan; it has had various small leaks and is a high priority on the building’s list of needed repairs. SCPW would like to replace the roof with the same rubber and rock.
Other items on the arena’s to-do list include upgrading the lights from fluorescent bulbs to LEDs, upgrading the sprinkler system, replacing windows and doors and re-sealing joints in the concrete walls, inside and outside.
“Everything reaches its lifespan,” Clink said. “Then, it needs to be redone.”
However, it is not possible to fix all of the arena’s issues with its existing budget. The roof alone is estimated to cost about $750,000, and money needs to be secured for the expenditure.
“There’s a couple million that could easily be spent up here in the next three to five years,” Clink said. “There’s no money for that, so we’re getting by with the way it is now.”
It is important to Clink that the arena be brought up to date, even if it is not yet clear how that will be achieved.
“Whether there’s hockey or whatever event is going on up here, you need to make sure the building envelope is sealed and watertight, and we’re taking care of that aspect of it,” Clink said. “It’s a city-owned building, so ultimately, you need to maintain it as such.”

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #8

"This was 2003-2004 season. It was my senior year and the first year that Long Prairie and Sauk Centre were combined. It was an adjustment to have your opponents, of your whole hockey career, suddenly be your teammates in the matter of a year. This photo was taken at the beginning of the year, before we had a joined team jersey that we would then wear for all games. That jersey was maroon and grey with the street rat on the front, I still have that jersey packed away somewhere. This was the whole varsity team, no JV team that year. Players would find out if they were going to play on game night with a lineup roster posted in the locker room before the game."

"I have continued to stay involved with our hockey association and community as a previous assistant varsity coach for 2 years and coaching different levels of youth hockey as my kids grow through the program. I have played in some alumni fundraiser games as well. I continue to volunteer my time so that our youth have the opportunity to experience hockey like I did as a kid."

Dustin Berscheit
Sauk Centre, MN

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #7

“It's well worth a donation to me, to help the organization that once helped me and my SC Hockey teammates. Our teams were beneficiaries of donations too. Back in 1975-76, the Lions Club donated all the lumber and the labor to build the outdoor rink. Us dopey kids were there every day, helping carry boards, holding tape measures, or doing anything we could to help get it built. We couldn't wait to play hockey on an actual regulation hockey rink. That winter we only played three exhibition games, beating and tying Long Prairie, and a loss to Paynesville. But, it gave us a taste of what our league was going to be like. The next season, 1976-77, we began official Central Minnesota Hockey Association league play against opponents from Little Falls, Wadena, Long Prairie, Glenwood, Paynesville, Benson, and even St. Cloud had a team in this league too. Gosh, those were fun days.”
Jordy Wolter
Fairbanks, AK

Dave Domine commented on a blog post:
4 months ago
Where it all began. Everyone in this picture is now old enough to realize this wouldn't have happened without volunteerism and donations.
Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni commented on a blog post:
4 months ago
Thanks so much for the donation, Jordy, and thanks for sharing your memories!

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #6

Seniors, 1996
Coached by Tom Oberg
MVPs: J.R. Engebretson and Chris Blank
All Section Team: Chris Blank, Darin Rieland, Ben Hinnenkamp and Nick Hoffman
Most Improved Player: Mike Olson
Mr. Hustle: Bill Friedrichs

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #5

2023-2024 Prairie Centre Blue Devil players from Sauk Centre: (left to right) Peyton Wessel- 7th grade forward, Lily Leach- freshman forward, Kasen Berscheit- freshman forward, Carly Gruenes- sophomore defense, Dailyn Diedrich- sophomore defense

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #4

Prairie Centre Blue Devils Girls High School Hockey:

The Blue Devils is a hockey cooperative between Sauk Centre/Melrose, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Royalton and Browerville. Coached by David Wright, the Blue Devils skated both a JV and Varsity team during the 2023-24 season. Five players represent our local hockey association.

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #3

Before we were Stars. The era of the street rat!

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #2

Junior Gold hockey! When all we had was an outdoor rink!

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Sauk Centre/Melrose Hockey Alumni posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #1

If you'd like to make a donation by check, please mail to:
Sauk Centre Youth Hockey Association
PO Box 14
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

Thank you!

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