Valley Youth Hockey is a Tier II association based at Onondaga Nation Arena and Meachem Rink in Syracuse, NY.

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Kurt Kemp Friend of Youth Hockey Award
Valley Youth Hockey Association


2018-2019 Winner: Jana Schalk

2017-2018 Winner: Steve Eccles

2016-2017 Winner: Jay Durand

2016 Winner: Scott Jesmore

Scott Jesmore is the winner of this year's Kurt Kemp award! Scott served as Valley's Scheduler and Webmaster for five years, and as Registrar during this past season. He has also served as a coach and as an invaluable advisor and mentor to incoming Board members.  Scott also serves on the Snowbelt Board and is the Scheduler for the entire Snowbelt Organization. He has shown a dedication to fairness and put a lot of time into planning for best use of the ice over the years. We love Scott despite the fact that he’s a Penguins fan!
Scott Jesmore and Pete Thomson


2015 Winner: Rob Rioux

VYHA is very proud to award the 2015 Kurt Kemp award to Rob Rioux. Rob has been an extremely positive influence at Valley for the past decade.  He has served as Registrar, Coach, VP and President. Rob has provided opportunities for children to learn this great game by spearheading our First Strides and IP programs.  He exemplifies the best in youth sports as a great role model to players of all ages. Rob has consistently demonstrated the values of sportsmanship, self control and a positive attitude. His contributions to VYHA are immeasurable & he has proven time & time again to be an asset to our organization.


2014 Winner: Dave Ogden 

Dave Ogden has been a volunteer coach at Valley for about 6 years. For the past two years Dave has helped run the Valley First Strides program. Dave was the head coach of the Initiation program this past season. Dave also helps coach goalies in the organization. 

2013 Winner: Pat Karins 

Pat Karins has served as the Valley Registrar for the past 4 seasons. In addition, Pat has helped as the Kitchen Coordinator. Pat goes above and beyond in her role as Registrar, helping keep things running smoothly for our association. Through Pat's efforts, the teams at Valley Hockey are able to play and compete, representing Valley across NYS. 

2012 Winner: John Brienza 

John Brienza has coached at Valley since 2008 and led Valley Midget teams to successful post-season play in nearly all seasons. John dedicated his time and efforts to the great benefit of the children of the Valley Youth Hockey Association. 

2011 Winner: Bill Eccles 

A long time member of the central New York hockey community, Bill Eccles has spent years as a head coach and assistant coach with Valley Hockey, winning a state championship along the way! 

2010 Winner: Robin & Mike Thompson 

Congratulations to Robin & Mike Thompson, the first winners of the Kurt Kemp Friend of Youth Hockey Award.  If you see Robin & Mike please congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the children of Valley Youth Hockey. 



Ryan MacCammon/The Post-Standard

Kurt Kemp has been involved with youth hockey as a parent, coach, administrator and referee for over 30 years.  He was a founding member of Valley Youth Hockey association.  He has served in various capacities and given of his time to the sport of youth hockey for years.  He retired in 2013 after working as the City’s Head of Meachem Rink & Fields.  He is a past Valley President and Officer, having been the Referee Scheduler for many years.  In 2009, Valley Youth Hockey established the Kurt Kemp Friend of Youth Hockey Award in honor of Kurt and his many contributions to youth hockey in the Central New York area.