The 2019 Suburban High School Hockey League season is set to resume the day after New Year’s.
It was 46 years ago that high-school hockey was introduced to Eastern Montgomery County.
Sometime around the midway point of the 1972-73 season, hockey impresario Walter Jewell withdrew a team that he ran from a league that played at the original Grundy rink in Bristol and moved it to the Wintersport rink on York Road in Willow Grove, which had recently opened, and where a league for high-school age players had been organized.
Jewell’s team, which featured primarily, though not exclusively, Abington players, was actually called the Wintersports. The team won the league championship that first season, defeating a team called the Northeast Sabres 3-2 in the varsity championship game.
The following season, 1973-74, saw the league take a major step forward when most teams began playing under the names of various high schools. Research indicates there were eight teams in the league that year; Abington, Hatboro-Horsham, North Penn, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Lower Moreland, Upper Moreland/Willow Grove, Philmont, and Northeast (the section of Philadelphia, not necessarily the school).
High-school hockey has been a fixture in the area ever since.
Our thanks to Steve Schorr and the Abington hockey alumni for their help and providing much of the information contained in this post.