SHATTUCK-SAINT MARY'S SCHOOL
The Shattuck-Saint Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota has a modest enrollment by private school standards of some 475 students. But what it lacks in numbers, Shattuck-St.Mary’s makes up in hockey prowess. In fact, the school has won some 24 USA Hockey National Championships and had 9 second place finishes earning it the nickname at the “Hogwarts of Hockey”.
Shattuck-Saint Mary’s has a long and storied history that predates its dominance in youth and high school hockey. In fact, the school was first opened in 1858 by the Rev. Dr. James Lloyd Breck with 45 girls and boys and six divinity students. Over its history, the school has had various configurations but since 1988 has had Middle School students (grade 6 – 8) at the St. Mary’s campus and Upper School students (grade 9 – 12) at the Shattuck Campus.
The school currently has two rinks to house its hockey teams. The older rink, appropriately named the Old Rink, was constructed in 1968. The newer rink, also appropriately nicknamed as the New Rink, was built adjacent to the old rink with construction completed in 2005. The New Rink holds 600+ fans and uses geothermal technology to maintain high quality ice.
One of the key turning points for Shattuck in the modern era was the hiring of Craig Norwich in the midst of financial issues and declining enrollment during the mid-1990s. Norwich created the model of 'centers of excellence.' The school owned the only ice arena in Faribault and Norwich and utilized this to create a world-class hockey program. This model used to build the hockey program has been replicated and flourished under president Nick Stoneman, and is one of the main reasons for the success of the school.
The Hockey Center of Excellence at Shattuck comprises four midget teams, two bantam teams, and two girls’ teams. All teams play a seven-month schedule and average 50 – 75 games a season. As part of this schedule, the teams play in tournaments throughout North America, including the well-known Mac’s Midget tournament in Calgary, Alberta.
The list of prominent hockey players that have attended Shattuck includes: Sidney Crosby, Patrick Eaves, Jack Johnson, Amanda Kessel, Jocelyn Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Nathan McKinnon, Ryan Malone, Zach Parise, Derek Stepan, and Jonathan Toews. This list also includes the famous Weberg brothers from Norway. In the 2014 Winter Olympics, Shattuck counted no fewer than 8 former students competing in ice hockey.
On some level, it may be difficult for Shattuck St. Mary’s to replicate its one ice success over the last couple of decades. On the other hand, as sports become more and more specialized, its dominance may just be starting.