100 Years of Hebron Hockey
Our Hockey Tradition
The 2022 - 2023 hockey season marks the centennial of Hebron hockey. It is a wonder that a century of hockey started with an anonymous group of boys shoveling snow off Andrew’s Field in the early 1920s to create enough ice to skate and shoot.
Did those boys have any idea of the bright hockey future they were starting? A future that would see thousands of athletes come to Hebron in the ensuing decades to play. Over the years, Hebron players have won championships, played at the collegiate level, garnered All-American honors, coached high school, college and even Olympic teams, and a handful have even been elected into the National Hockey Hall of Fame. But above all, the one thing they all have in common is the love of the game!
These pages were created to give a glimpse into the storied history of Hebron hockey.
"You brought the team together and made them into a brotherhood, a family away from home, this is a bond that will last for a long time for these boys. Rarely can you find a coach that exemplifies the true meaning of building a team from the “locker room out”, our son was lucky to have had you as a coach."
— Parent of PG Hockey player '22 on coach o'brien
The origin of hockey at Hebron Academy can be traced back to the early 1920s when a band of boys led by Charles Dwyer cleared the snow on Andrew’s Field, put on skates and started a tradition of pride, passion, and success that is about to enter its 100th year.
Hebron charted a new course in 1922 led by Board President Freelan Stanley and newly appointed Head of School Ralph Hunt. Hebron became an all boys school and the two leaders believed firmly in competitive athletics. With Freelan Stanley’s gift, Hebron became the first high school in the country to have a covered rink. The facility would attract top players, and Hebron’s program quickly took center stage among prep school hockey in the country.
After WWII, the school reopened in 1946 with a team featuring only eight players. It would take a decade before Hebron reached its prewar prominence. A new rink was built in 1953, Stanly II, and in 1957 the team would go undefeated. With the sudden collapse of Stanley II in 1960, Hebron players skated in an outdoor rink for the next thirty seasons.
During this time, Hebron teams competed against public schools, Maine college freshmen teams, Boston clubs, and a host of New England Prep teams. With no conference or New England Tournaments to play in, success during these years is often overlooked. The 1971 team finishing with a record of 14-2 and the dedication of two coaches, Bruce Gardner and Nat Harris spanning four decades from 1958 to 1987, attest to a time of continued achievement.
With the completion of Robinson Arena for the 1993-1994 season, Hebron hockey would have a resurgence after struggling to field teams in the early 1990s. Coach Jeff Webber was hired to reignite the program. In the two years after the completion of Robinson Arena, Coach Webber’s teams would win back to back Division II New England Championships. In 2003-04 the team’s final record was 24-2.
The first girl to play at Hebron was Tracey Harlor who debuted in 1985, playing on the boys varsity team. Five additional girls would be pioneers during the 1997-98 season playing on the boy’s JV team. During the 1998 - 99 season the girls would finally have their own team led by Coach Paul Nemetz-Carlson. Within a year the girls would win the Division II New England Championship.
One can only wonder if that group of boys shoveling off the snow in the early 1920s had any idea of the bright hockey future they were starting. A future that would see thousands of athletes come to Hebron to skate for the love of the game. Over the years, Hebron players have won championships, played at the collegiate level, garnered All-American honors, coached high school, college and even Olympic teams, and a handful have even been elected into the National Hockey Hall of Fame.
- 1922-1925: Hebron Hockey Begins
- 1925-1942: Eddie Jeremiah and the Beginning of a Dynasty
- 1946:-1957- The School Reopens; Return to Prominence
- 1962-1991- The Fastest Ice in Maine: The Outdoor Rink
- 1985-2000: The Girls are Here to Stay!
- 1993-1995: A New Arena and Back to Back Championships
- 2006- New England Champions Again
- 2017-Present: Coach O'Brien and Future of Hebron Men's Hockey