Fritsche, AHSHA seeing ‘immeasurable growth’ with league
When Marc Fritsche took over as AHSHA president two years ago, his immediate vision was to see the high school league grow and progress over the long term.
While that has happened, what Fritsche didn’t expect was for the growth and improvement across the entire league to take place at a rapid pace.
“We have grown so much in the time that I have been a part of AHSHA,” said Fritsche. “The board and league members continue to put countless hours and effort into making this league grow and continue to sustain its growth. If we look back five years and truly see the immeasurable growth, it amazes me.
“The Arizona Coyotes have been a big part of our fast growth and will continue to help us make this league even stronger.”
Fritsche went on to say that the board has been an amazing group of individuals to work with.
“We have done a superior job turning our board into a group of people that truly care about two things – the players that play in the league and making things better for our players,” Fritsche said. “Even when we hit bumps in the road such as the All-Star Game and the inability to host it this season due to a concert being rescheduled, all hands were on deck finding a solution. This board is a cohesive unit and make things very easy to manage because they work so well together.”
“The Coyotes have stepped up and helped us on numerous occasions to make sure that our mission is being fulfilled,” said Fritsche. “(Coyotes director of hockey development) Matt Shott and (Coyotes supervisor of amateur hockey events and business development) Jon Shivener work to grow hockey in Arizona through the Coyotes, and they both have been and continue to be valuable partners and pieces that help AHSHA continue on its successful path of growth. Shane is a true, natural leader and what better way for AHSHA to get the Shane involved then by offering a scholarship in his name? The Tanner Catalano Foundation will be doing their share of lending a hand and adding them to our list of family members is exciting for us as well.
“I believe that hockey is the ultimate community and by adding quality people that eat, sleep and breathe the game to our family bodes well for our organization.”
And now with a girls program in the AHSHA Premier division, again, more growth is never a bad thing.
“It is great that we were able to lay the groundwork and start to build a girls program,” Fritsche said. “Girls hockey has grown so much and to have a program that can help these players reach their hockey goals is a win for AHSHA.”
Fritsche also noted that AHSHA hockey is something even a casual fan or observer should consider taking in this season.
“Hockey is the greatest game on Earth,” said Fritsche. “We have so many passionate people that are a part of our program and make this program run so very well. People like Ed Georgevich who not only coaches and manages our Mountain Ridge program but has been on the board since inception. Ray Reed, who is currently coaching Corona High School, heads up our Disciplinary Committee and has been a board member for many years. He and his committee are working tirelessly to clean up our program. Lauri Griebel and Lori Deopere work countless hours to make sure the coaches and managers have everything they need to be successful on and off the ice.
“All in all, it is fun just to see where hockey in this state has come and I am so proud to be a part of hockey growth in the state of Arizona and to work with so many fine people.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Dec. 19, 2018)