Since girls’ hockey came to Tilton in 1986, there have been great advancements both on the Hill and at the national level. When Ben Tefft signed on as Tilton Girls’ Varsity Hockey Head Coach in 2015, he had a small roster composed of both experienced and novice players. With a hard recruiting push and culture change through the years, the program has established itself as a New England Division II force to be reckoned with.
“Teams are elevating programs from a club level to an NCAA varsity level or schools are starting NCAA programs outright,” Tefft said. “There is also an upward trend of high-quality female head coaches. That is not to say they didn’t exist before, but with the amount of growth I feel that more women are getting their chance to lead programs as they should.”
As Tefft transitioned into a coaching role with Tilton Boys' Varsity Ice Hockey this season, his former assistant coach Jessica Young took over as head coach. Young played Division III college hockey at Middlebury College, winning three consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championships. Growing up playing girl’s hockey in Kansas, she had to drive four hours to St. Louis in order to find a team. Since then, she has witnessed an enormous growth in the sport.
“The competitiveness of the women’s game now is incredible, and I believe this is due to the increase in the number of girls who are able to get involved at a young age and develop under great coaches,” Young said. “I found myself in awe of the speed and skill demonstrated at the U14 Eastern Select Camp I worked this past summer and I can only hope that women’s hockey continues to move in the right direction.”
Young’s Assistant Coach is Kim Tiberi, who won a 2018 National Championship with Norwich University Womens’ Hockey.
Currently, Tilton GV hockey's record sits at 3-6-2, with some tough losses at the beginning of the season. With an incredible amount of talent, and coming off of a big win at the Portsmouth Abbey Holiday Invitational before winter break, the team is focused on completing a successful season.
Brenna Verran ‘20 is a four-year senior and captain on the team. Hailing from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Verran said that being a part of the Tilton Girls’ Hockey program has made her a better person. She added that this year in particular has been an incredible team bonding experience.
“The energy that happens in the locker room and the life long friends that you make are unbelievable. We’re like one big family."
"Were back from break now and all the girls are working hard to keep building our team towards success. I’m excited to see what happens the rest of the year and proud to be part of this amazing team.”