Did you know that Huntsville has an adult hockey league? The North Alabama Hockey Association Senior Open League (SOL) is a hockey program for anyone over 18, from any hockey background. There are three divisions, based loosely on skill level, in the fall season and two divisions in the summer. Campus No. 805 sponsors a Division Two team, and I sat down with team captain and defenseman Troy Skinner recently to learn more about the program.
805: Tell me a little about the Campus No. 805 team!
TS: We are a co-ed Division Two team made up of 14 players ranging in age from 20 to over 60.
805: What drew you to the SOL?
TS: I grew up in the only place in Canada without a hockey rink and have wanted to play since I was a kid. About six years ago, I just showed up to check it out and got the bug! I realized it was reducing my stress, improving my fitness, and widening my social circle, so I stuck around.
805: What are games like in the league?
TS: Fun! It’s not really about winning or losing; it’s more about friendly competition. And enjoying a cold beer afterwards!
805: I hear that the team did pretty well in the playoffs this autumn…
TS: Yeah, we actually won! The playoffs were a matchup of the eight teams in the division (including a team from Yellowhammer and a team from Straight to Ale), and we crushed them!
805: Congrats! So for next season, we’re going to screen-print some jerseys for you. Have you thought about any potential designs?
TS: Our colors are the same as the L.A. Kings (black and white), and we even have a teammate whose relative plays for the Kings. We’re thinking of maybe something in a crown, but we’ve still got some designing to do.
805: What is your favorite part of playing in the SOL?
TS: I love having a team. The whole league is a great group, and they keep me socially active! Since it’s such an inclusive league, most of my friends are now hockey people. I’m always meeting up for drinks or just hanging out with my hockey teammates.
If you are interested in learning more about the SOL, make sure you check out the website. The summer season is set to start in the middle of May, so get skating! For those of you with little to no hockey experience, Troy recommends the Adult Development Program. “It teaches players everything they need to know to get into the league, starting with learning to skate through the all the basics of hockey,” he says.
Congrats again to the reigning SOL Division Two Champions, Team Campus No. 805!