Stallion Memories #1: The Start of the Program
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Note: This was shared by Chris Winchester,
one of the founders of the program and the first President of the team.
The Stallions hockey team was founded by Paul Kettleson, Chris Winchester, and Sharon (Cichy) Winchester on the 6th floor of Hadley Hall, in December of 2
014. The idea was generated after the intramural hockey season had completed and it was clear that there were players at Western that wanted and had more to give to the sport of Hockey. After the idea was formalized, a constitution was drawn up, the application for the club was submitted to the Student Life office in "the birdcage."
During this phase in the founding process is when Paul Iagnocco, Todd Hufford, and Matt Cratty joined and helped the Stallions reach its goal of WMU Club status. Both Paul and Todd played key roles in helping get the club approved and then supported building the foundation of the club to last many years into the future.
Matt Cratty, Dennis Adams and others helped the club start identifying and recruiting potential players to tryout out, find sponsors, and get the word out. While the player identification process was going on, Chris was contacting the American College Hockey Association and working on getting WMU admitted into this national league of hockey clubs to complete in their Division 2.
By the summer on 1995, the Stallions Hockey Club of WMU was founded and accepted into Division 2 of the ACHA. The team could finally get started. There were over 150 players signed up for the initial tryouts (85 actually attended). The board hired their first Coaches - Bob Krosky and Dave Burke - who joined Iagnocco behind the bench for their first season of 24 games.
Now that the team existed, the next phase was the development of the in game experience both from a ticketing perspective as well as a merchandising perspective. Sharon Winchester, Todd Hufford, Maggie Hufford, and Matt Cratty ran the game day experience for WMU students, friends, and family at Lawson Arena for when the season was ready for kick off.
It was an amazing season with a storybook ending...
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