With the CHC now in its 18th season, the Conference’s recognition further enhances what it has tried to achieve since its founding; hard, clean, competitive hockey, academic and athletic success for its teams and players, and a statewide reputation for excellence.
The 2019-2020 season was unique in a number of ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was highlighted by the fact that New Albany was denied the opportunity to play in the Frozen Four Tournament at Nationwide Arena in March after winning their first District Tournament, when COVID caused the cancellation of the whole tournament only days before it was to begin. But as usual, the brand of hockey that the CHC played throughout the year was excellent and never disappointed. There were several CHC highlights during the year, which was emphasized by the number of CHC teams that made the Top Ten Teams in the Ohio State Poll each week. There were ten weeks of polls in the 2019-2020 season. While the Conference started “slowly” with “only 2” teams listed in weeks one and two, three teams were listed every other week from week three on (Upper Arlington, Olentangy Liberty and St. Charles Prep.), and had the 2nd overall ranked team in the state all 10 weeks of the poll.
But with all that good news in general, the story of 2019-2020 was the Upper Arlington Golden Bears. The Golden Bears were undefeated all season until falling to New Albany in one of the District Semi-Finals games, and finished the season with a 36-1-1 record. (New Albany went on to defeat Olentangy Liberty in the District Final to win their first District Championship.) UA won five tournaments during the year (Blue Jackets Cup, Brother Jones – Gilmour, Chiller Thanksgiving Tournament, Mark Rasmus – Toledo and the Padua Holiday Tournament. While the majority of wins were against teams from Ohio, out of state wins included games with Baldwin – PA, Bethal Park – PA, Bishop O’Connell – VA, Orchard Park – NY and Providence Catholic – IL. A number of players on the team received state wide recognition including the Offensive Player of The Year and players on 1st Team Offense, 1st Team Defense and First Team Goalie. And to finish the accolades off, 12 players were on the CHC All-Academic Team. Rankings wise, after starting the season a “lowly” ranked 4th in the first State Poll of the season, UA was ranked 2nd each and every week of the final nine weeks of the Poll.
The CHC remains based in Columbus, Ohio, home of the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets, and includes long standing Cincinnati/Dayton members Archbishop Moeller, Saint Xavier and Springboro. The number of teams in the Conference remained the same this year for the first time in recent years. The one big change was Worthington Kilbourne coming back from the JV level to the Varsity level. This gave the Conference 19 Varsity teams and 9 JV teams.
The 16 Columbus area schools are Columbus Academy, Bishop Watterson, Dublin Coffman, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Gahanna Lincoln, New Albany, Olentangy, Olentangy Berlin, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy Orange, St. Francis DeSales, St. Charles Prep., Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington and Worthington Kilbourne. Cincinnati is represented by Archbishop Moeller and St. Xavier, while Dayton is represented by Springboro. The Conference also has a close relationship with the Southwest Ohio High School Hockey League (SWOHSHL) in the greater Cincinnati and Dayton areas.
became OHSAA Varsity
|Upper Arlington||2003 *founding member||1977|
|Thomas Worthington||2003 *founding member||1998|
|Worthington Kilbourne||2003 *founding member||1998|
|St. Charles Prep||2003 *founding member||1999|
|Dublin Coffman||2003 *founding member||2002|
|Dublin Scioto||2003 *founding member||2002|
|Gahanna Lincoln||2003 *founding member||2002|
|St. Francis DeSales||2006||2006|
|Cincinnati St. Xavier||2019||2004|
Historically, Upper Arlington is the Conference’s oldest OHSAA team, becoming a Varsity sport in 1977. In the late 1990’s, programs began at Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne (1998), followed shortly thereafter by St. Charles Prep. (1999) Teams formally played in SWOHSHL, then a Columbus-Dayton-Cincinnati League. In fall 2002, SWOHSHL experienced rapid growth with the addition of Dublin Coffman, Dublin Scioto and Gahanna Lincoln. As a result of now having 7 Columbus area teams, those schools banded together to form the CHC in 2003. The Conference then added Dublin Jerome in 2004, St. Francis DeSales in 2006, Olentangy Liberty in 2007, Olentangy and Olentangy Orange in 2008, Bishop Watterson and Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in 2009, New Albany in 2015, Springboro in 2016, Columbus Academy and Olentangy Berlin in 2018 and St. Xavier in 2019.
As indicated above, the Conference has enjoyed great growth, more than tripling since its inception and mirroring the phenomenal growth in Columbus youth hockey. The last few years have been particularly successful for the CHC on the ice as Conference members Dublin Coffman (2010, 2016), Dublin Jerome (2015, 2018, 2019), Olentangy Liberty (2011, 2013, 2017), Olentangy Orange (2012), St. Charles Prep. (2014) and Upper Arlington (2006, 2007) have advanced to the Ohio Frozen Four. In 2020 New Albany would have made their 1st Frozen Four appearance if not for the fact that the Tournament was cancelled just days before it was to begin as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Archbishop Moeller (2005) and St. Xavier (2008) both advanced to the Frozen Four before they became part of the CHC. This year, the Conference has remained in a three (3) division format based on expected squad size and recent success. Divisions and teams in the respective divisions are as follows
|Dublin Jerome||Archbishop Moeller||Bishop Watterson|
|New Albany||Dublin Coffman||Columbus Academy|
|Olentangy Liberty||Olentangy Berlin||Dublin Scioto|
|Olentangy Orange||Springboro||Gahanna Lincoln|
|St. Charles||St. Xavier||Olentangy|
|Upper Arlington||Thomas Worthington||St. Francis DeSales|
All teams (except for 2) will play 16 league games:
Red teams will play home-and-home within their division and single games with all 6 WHITE teams (16 games)
White teams will play each WHITE team once, each Red team once and 5 Blue teams once (16 games)
Blue teams will play home and home within their division and 4/5 White teams once (16 games with 2 teams playing 17 games)
Moving forward, divisions will be continue to be reshuffled every year. The winner of the White division will swap divisions with the 6th place Red division team. The winner of the Blue division will swap divisions with the 6th place White division team.
The Blue Jackets Cup Tournaments (Championship and Consolation) will have the teams drawn by Red, White and Blue Division final league standings.
For the 2020-21 Championship Tournament, the teams qualifying will be the top 5 Red division teams (seeded 1 through 5), the top 2 White division teams (seeded #6 and #7), and the winner of Red #6 vs White #3 regular season game (seed #8 seed).
All of the remaining teams will play in the Consolation Tournament.
The Conference has also been part of the OHSAA shift to Columbus. Originally, Columbus based teams were sent to their district tournaments at Bowling Green or Toledo, Ohio. The tournament was ultimately moved to Troy, Ohio. Finally, in 2006 the District Tournament was primarily moved to the Columbus Blue Jackets practice facility, the Ohio Health Ice Haus in Columbus, Ohio, and remains there today. (The Ice Haus is also the primary site of the annual Blue Jackets Cup Tournament.) The highlight of the District Tournament’s move to Columbus has been the District Final, consistently played before SRO overflow crowds at the Ice Haus.
A constant in the CHC is the fierce competition among its members. Conference highlights include:
|State Top 10 Rankings (since '09/'10)|
|Dublin Coffman||3||4||2||-||'10||6 ('16)||'16||7|
|Dublin Jerome||4||9||3||1||'11||3 ('19)||'19||38|
|New Albany||-||-||1*||-||'19||9 ('19)||'19||4|
|Olentangy Liberty||3||1||3||-||'16||2 ('20)||'20||47|
|Olentangy Orange||1||1||1||-||'14||6 ('15)||'16||16|
|St. Charles Prep.||3||1||1||-||'13||3 ('16)||'20||40|
|Upper Arlington||4||1||2||-||'16||2 ('20)||'20||30|
* Indicates New Albany would have been a State Semi-finalist in '19-'20 if the Frozen Four Tournament would have been played and not cancelled because of COVID-19.
Previous Varsity Champions
|Season||Regular Season Champion||Blue Jackets Cup Champion|
|2020-21||RED - St. Charles||tbd|
|WHITE - Moeller|
|BLUE - Olentangy|
|2019-20||RED - Upper Arlington||Upper Arlington|
|WHITE - Olentangy Orange|
|BLUE - Columbus Academy|
|2018-19||RED - Dublin Jerome||Dublin Jerome|
|WHITE - Olentangy|
|BLUE - Thomas Worthington|
|2017-18||RED - Dublin Jerome||Dublin Jerome|
|WHITE - Moeller|
|BLUE - Bishop Watterson|
|2016-17||RED - St. Charles||Dublin Jerome|
|WHITE - New Albany|
|BLUE - Olentangy|
|2015-16||RED - St. Charles||Dublin Coffman|
|WHITE - Olentangy Liberty|
|BLUE - New Albany|
|2014-15||RED - St. Charles||Olentangy Orange|
|WHITE - Upper Arlington|
|BLUE - Kilbourne|
|2013-14||RED - Olentangy Orange||St. Charles|
|WHITE - St. Charles|
|BLUE - Bishop Watterson|
|2012-13||RED - Olentangy Liberty||Dublin Jerome|
|WHITE - Olentangy Orange|
|BLUE - Gahanna Lincoln|
|2011-12||RED - Dublin Jerome||Dublin Jerome|
|WHITE - Upper Arlington|
|BLUE - St. Francis DeSales|
Liberty + Jerome
|2009-10||Olentangy Liberty||Dublin Jerome|
|2008-09||Dublin Coffman||Dublin Coffman|
|2007-08||Dublin Coffman||Dublin Jerome|
|2006-07||Upper Arlington||Dublin Jerome|
|2005-06||Upper Arlington||Dublin Jerome|
|2004-05||Dublin Coffman||Dublin Coffman|
|2003-04||Upper Arlington||Dublin Coffman|
One final point to emphasize and that gets overlooked at times is the fact that the CHC also has had great depth in coaching, as a number of head coaches and assistant coaches have had major playing experience during their careers. A few currently coaching in the league and their respective experience are as follows: (alphabetically by first name)
Darcy Cahill (St. Francis DeSales): Drafted in the NHL by the Vancouver Canucks. Also drafted in the 1st round of the OHL Draft by the Northbay Centennials. Played professional hockey for 12 years in Canada, Europe and the United States.
Derek Dorsett (Upper Arlington): Drafted into the NHL by the Columbus Blue Jackets after playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. Played professionally for 11 years in the NHL for the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.
Hamish Baird (Upper Arlington): Played NCAA Division 3 Hockey at Skidmore College.
Jack Hoogeveen (Upper Arlington): Played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at Bowling Green State University.
Jay Graham (Bishop Watterson): Played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at The Ohio State University:
Kevin Alexander (Olentangy Liberty): Played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Played professionally for the Greensboro Monarch and Columbus Chill (3 years) of the ECHL.
Matt Buss (New Albany): Played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at the University of Wisconsin.
Mike Casselman (Archbishop Moeller): Played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at Clarkson College. Played professionally for the Florida Panthers in the NHL and several teams in the AHL, IHL and the German Elite League.
Mike Ross (Olentangy): Played NCAA Division 1 Hockey at Brown University. Played professionally in the ECHL.
Pat Murphy (Dublin Jerome): Played NCAA Division 3 Hockey at Hamilton College. Played professionally in Europe.
Rob Sangster (St. Charles Prep.): Drafted in the NHL by the Vancouver Canucks. Played Junior A for Kitchener and Ottawa in the OHL and professionally in the ECHL.
inquiries should be directed as follows
Asst. Commissioner - Admin., OHSAA/CBJ Liason
Asst. Commissioner - Scheduling
Asst. Commissioner - Hockey Development
Asst. Commissioner - Treasury
Asst. Commissioner - Secretary
Asst. Commissioner - Website
Asst. Commissioner - Head Referee
Asst. Commissioner - Clinics, Blue Jackets Cup
|JD Kershaw (ex-officio)
Columbus Blue Jackets VP of Operations and Development