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Ice Time

Outdoor ice skating makes a return to the Brooks campus.

Jan. 10, 2010 featured the rebirth of an old Brooks tradition, with one or two modern twists: an outdoor ice skating rink.


The rink is situated between the school’s pool and the playground, complete with lighting for evening skates. The location is across the street from the school’s original rink built in 1931, but not far from the second rink built a decade later near the old tennis courts. In fact, the maintenance staff created the rink by simply digging out and flooding one of the old courts.


“We didn’t have the rink when I was a student,” Boys 1st Hockey Team Coach Willie Waters ’02 said before getting on the ice. “But I grew up on outdoor rinks, so this brings me back to my childhood.”


Former Business Manager Jim Pugh spearheaded the return of outdoor skating on campus in 2005. But after several enjoyable years of outdoor skating, the rink was not revived last year.


So when Nick Potter ’12 and Brendan McDonough ’12 took to the outdoor ice rink for the first time last week, it was in fact their first time ever on the ice. And after just a few laps, the boys agreed on one thing: a league needed to be organized.


Potter sent out a school-wide e-mail, expecting maybe 40 students to join the newly minted Brooks Pond Hockey Association. He was, needless to say, thrilled when more than 80 students wanted to play.


“It’s a great new tradition, playing old-time hockey,” Nick said moments after his team beat Team Two 11-4 on Sunday. “It’s just something to bring the community together.”



Skating was entirely weather-dependent in the early years of the school. Weeks or months of practice could be wiped out, due to heavy snowfall or seasonally warm temperatures melting the ice.


“Upon return from Christmas vacation, the rinks were found to be covered by 40 inches of snow, slightly above the level of the boards. The squad turned its attention to shoveling, and thanks to a unique arrangement of half-day holidays for the entire school, the rink was finally cleared after 10 days of back-breaking work,” J. Tower Thompson wrote in his book, “Thirty Years at Brooks,” of the 1948 season.


And the weather proved somewhat difficult on Sunday during the first round of the league’s inaugural season. Forty-degree temps required Tucker White ’12 and Nick Vozzella ’10 to scoop off a layer of slush with large shovels in-between goals scored in either of the two plastic garbage cans weighted down by bricks.


James Hooper ’10 watched the clock from the sideline, using his iPhone instead of an old-fashioned timer. But no one refereed the faux fight that broke out between Aidan Daniell ’10 and CJ Smith ’12, which brought laughs on and off the ice.


“The outdoor ice rink is a fun thing to have,” James said along the sidelines. “I haven’t skated in a while, so it should be fun.”


The rink has also proven quite useful. When a heating issue with the indoor rink occurred last week, the Girls 1st Ice Hockey Team simply moved practice outside.


“It was fun,” team player Liv King ’10 said of the outdoor practice as she waited to take the ice — and take on the boys — last Sunday. “It’s no competition, boys versus girls: we’ve got it covered.”


The league will play on the weekends, as well as a few weeknights under the lights. One student suggested that a grill and radio would enhance the experience nicely. And Nick anticipates the championship game will happen just before spring break.


“I wrestle in the winter and don’t get to play hockey for the school,” George Demoulas ’12 said. “But I do like to play for fun, so this is a great chance for me.”


Timeline: Brooks Ice

1931 | In the early years of Brooks’ history, two outdoor rinks originally sat across Great Pond Road from the South Gate school entrance. The Brooks boys formed an official team around 1931 that competed against area schools, excelling more in defense than offense.


1935 | Those early hockey teams often struggled with warm temps and slushy ice, and were forced to skate on area ponds instead. But 1935 brought new high boards, a snowplow and even a skate house, complete with a warming stove, that the students built adjacent to the ice.


1941 | A new hard-surfaced rink, with the latest hinged boards and warming hut, was built in 1941 beside the tennis courts and behind what is today called the Danforth Squash and Rowing Center.


1958 | The 1958 season opened with the school’s first artificial hockey rink, Geddes Rink, located near the current parking garages in-between Hettinger East and Peabody House. Subsequently, the hockey team was able to play its first full-season, November to March, without the weather impeding on their fun.


1973 | Brooks’ first indoor hockey rink replaced the outdoor rink, receiving a significant renovation in 1991 and 2007.


2005 | Business Manager Jim Pugh spearheaded the return of outdoor skating on campus, overseeing the construction of a small rink on top of an old tennis court.

Historical source: J. Tower Thompson, “Thirty Years at Brooks.”



Pond Ice Hockey Tournament 2010

Division One

Team 1

Nick Potter '12

Aidan Daniell '10

Nick Vozzella '10

Glen Martin '11

Alex Villa '10

Kelsey Albright '10


Team 2

Brendan McDonough '12

Dan Conway '11

CJ Smith '12

Henry Wagner '11

Jill Doherty '13

Andrew Bruno '13


Team 3

Jon Choroszy '11

Alex Vozzella '11

Hayden Lynch '12

Ryan George '12

Tucker White '12


Team 4

Matt Geremia '10

Willie Waters '02

Liv King '10

Emerson Rogers '10

James Hooper '10


Team 5

Kat Barker '10

Lowell Abbott '10

Ellie Smith '10

Andrew Uglietto '13

Will Platt '13

Harry Hawkings '10


Team 6

Jeff Barnes '11

Marty Hackler '12

Cam Ecker '11

Marina Moschitto '10

Alice Grant '10

Chapin Duke '10

Paige Murray '10


Team 7

Connor Frazier '13

George Demoulas '12

Sawyer Rogers '13

Jackie Kelleher '12

Kate Haslett '13

Alex Arnold '12


Division Two

Team 1

Ellie Donohue '11

Lily Niles '12

Joanna Choe '12

Annie McClelland '12

Kate Roddy '11


Team 2

Jackie DiTroia '12

Lilli Cabot '12

Julia Lawson '12

Eliza Wehrle '12

Ryan Edwards '12

Kyle Hughes '10

Chris Marella '10


Team 3

H. Nelson Tracy '11

Anastasia Tsakirellis '11

Haley Keegan '11

Andres Burbank-Crump '11

Jack Hartigan '11

Zach Allen '11

Pete McKenna '11


Team 4

Ellie Barker '11

Abby Hooper '12

Tory Gardiner '12

Kate Axten '11

Alexy Santos '12

Kian Seibel '12


Team 5

Colie Egerston '12

Aaron Baumgarten '12

Tyler Britt '13

Nick Gates '13

Theo Papapetros '13

Jory Makin '13

Ryan Miles '13


Team 6

Osayi Menzies '10

Julia Caffrey '10

Carly Churchill '10

Rob Fagan '10

Sam Conway '10

Lilly Scott '11


Team 7

Gilly Caulo '12

Mike Abu '11

Porter Grieve '11

Tyler Stillings '11

Eric Gisness '12

Andrew Peck '11

Ryan Farmer '12

Sam Milbury '13

Will Snyder '12