Old Ivy hockey players are as common as hard clams along the suburban North Shore of Long Island. Until a few years ago all of them were haunted by a single horrid thought: their sons might grow up to be basketball players.
It seemed only too probable. Basketball, a game played in the comfort of steam-heated gymnasiums, is far more suitable to the uncertainties of Long Island weather than outdoor ice hockey and is vastly preferred as a winter sport by the public and private schools in the area. To snatch the younger generation from the jaws of probability, two former Yale rink men, Estate Manager Allen Betts, '31, and Insurance Broker Peter Guernsey, '44, now devote part of each winter week to coaching the young in hockey at the Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club's artificial rinks in Locust Valley.
The club itself was founded in 1916 by the grandfathers of today's young players to furnish winter sport to grownups. Its junior division was organized by Betts and Guernsey in 1957. The youngsters, ranging in age from 9 to 14 and now numbering more than 70, are divided into two groups. The upper, or A, league is made up of more skilled players, who wear uniforms and play against teams from similar clubs in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Long Island.
The B league is made up for the most part of their kid brothers, who play intramurally—and perhaps play all the harder because their nondescript uniforms still consist of whatever Mom can find in the closet.
Purposeful Andy Dwyer of the Beaver Dam Juniors puts on a burst of speed. Andy, 12, is son of Yale Footballer Martin Dwyer.
At face-off Coach Allen Betts, who once played for Yale, then for The St. Nicholas Club of New York, tosses puck between Bucky Weekes and Andy Dwyer in a drill. Both dream of making the varsity themselves one of these days.
Watching the big boys, aged 12 to 14, the 9-to 11-year-olds of the B squad stand at the ready, awaiting their turn on the ice.