Maple Grove hockey parent: "That whole organization should have a no-confidence vote" [INTERVIEW]

Categories: Education, Sports
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Heidemann's son is now playing at Breck, where Heidemann says "there's none" of the dysfunction and politics that allegedly characterize Maple Grove youth hockey.
When Terry Heidemann heard about the no-confidence vote the youth hockey association planned to take yesterday regarding Maple Grove boys varsity coach Gary Stefano, he felt compelled to get in touch and tell us about the ordeal his son went through while playing for a Maple Grove youth team this season.

SEE ALSO (MORE LINKS AT BOTTOM OF POST): Maple Grove hockey coach Stefano faces no-confidence vote following purported sex scandal

"What pissed me off is that we're having a no-confidence vote on the coach -- that whole organization should have a no-confidence vote," Heidemann said.

Heidemann and his family moved from Montana to Maple Grove last August, and his 13-year-old son enrolled at Breck. But Breck doesn't have an 8th grade hockey team, so he elected to play for the Bantam B1 Crimson team in Maple Grove.

When practices began, Heidemann's son excelled on the ice and was named captain of the team. But the good times didn't last long.

Heidemann's wife has a master's degree in social work and works with abused kids for a living. She realized Maple Grove's youth hockey culture "isn't normal" as early as tryout camps, Heidemann said.

Watching some of the tryouts, she said, "'There are some kids out there that are out of control,'" Heidemann told us.

Teammates started giving Heidemann's son grief for being named captain so soon after moving to Maple Grove from Montana, and the teasing soon escalated, Heidemann said.

"It started to turn into bullying. There was some physical stuff -- a lot of mental stuff. He came off the ice in tears many time just wanting to quit," Heidemann said.

One of Heidemann's son's teammates in particular was making his life miserable. Eventually, Heidemann's wife, fed up with coaches' alleged inability or unwillingness to do anything about the situation, decided to write a letter to the Maple Grove youth hockey board detailing specific bullying instances (Heidemann declined to detail specific instances during our interview). At the next board meeting, Heidemann son's tormentor was suspended.

"Several parents came up to us and said, 'my kid was the victim last year. You have no idea how happy we are somebody did this,'" Heidemann said. But even the bullying suspension turned out to be more complicated than it initially seemed.

"After a week, the [allegedly bully] comes back, and we get a call. My kid had been suspended for bullying the same kid!" Heidemann said, characterizing his son's suspension as "obviously a payback."

His son's tormentor's dad "happens to be an old pro hockey player, and everybody in Maple Grove thinks he's a God," he continued.

Then, two weeks ago, Heidemann says his son and wife were called into a meeting with the Maple Grove youth hockey board.

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14 comments
whiteguy911
whiteguy911

Typical of the sport of hockey.  Its an expensive sport that requires not only the commitment of the player, but the commitment of the family.  When this much money is spent parents and players feel obligated to play and provide input.  And I'm not saying this has any sort of influence or justification for anything-it could just be coincidence.  But why does the sport seem to be just a bunch of spoiled brat white kids? 

intheknow215
intheknow215

CP should have asked the if they had any issues with any hockey associations in MT.  The answer may not surprise most of you. 

Disgusting
Disgusting

Wow - the fact that City Pages would choose to print this pack of lies without any kind of background checking is appalling.  Grade for journalistic integrity:  F

All you've done is given a forum to the person (Terry) who was responsible for all the issues in the first place.  Well done, City Pages.

intheknow215
intheknow215

Dad, You Love Hockey…I Like Hockey…Don’t Ruin it for Me

ALSOINTHEKNOW1234
ALSOINTHEKNOW1234

Lets handle this in a professional manner, yes almost all of this is inaccurate or way over eaxaggerated or a flat out a lie. Yes their are tons of details left out but lets handle the situation appropriately . No one affliated make anymore comments. I know you are frusterated and upset but this will get taken care of in a timely manner and with the correct form of actions. Please remember we are talking about 13-15 year old kids here and keep them in your minds before responding. Thank you.

tsktsktsk
tsktsktsk

Its to bad that this even got posted by city pages without a follow up to get the whole story and not just one side of it.  Lies have been spread in the story all over the place.  Also privacy laws have been broken.  For a adult to go into the locker room and go after a 14 year old kid is a shame.  I hate to say it but his son is not the angel they think he is and he embellishes the story when talking to his dad.  As to dads coaching kids from the stands Terry you were the number one offender of this.  Standing over the Kids in games and chirping at your son during games or between periods during games.  The only thing they ever talked about all year long is how they cannot wait to get to Brek, they never had any interest in their son succeeding at OMGHA.  Halfway through the season his son was texting kids on the team bragging about how he was going to skate with the JV team this season.

overthetop
overthetop

I have never seen one family wreak so much havoc on a team. And it continues.... First off, let me say that there are a large number of great families on this team who will stand by you in any life event. I personally witnessed many people trying to welcome the Heidemanns to the team, but any friendly advances were not accepted. In all my years of kids in multiple sports, I have seen my share of parents getting carried away in the stands, but I have never seen a parent ejected from a team/association, well, until you, Terry. I was personally told by Austin's mom, Lynn, that a ref had to talk to Austin on the ice and he was told that his behavior on the ice did not warrant him wearing the "A" on his jersey. I'm sure that this type of behavior was not limited to the ice. But how can we expect Austin to own up to his misbehaviors when his dad can't take any responsibility for his actions. It seems that the Heidemanns could use some social work in their own home. Know anyone who can help Lynn? Good luck to everyone at Breck, you are in for a bumpy ride.

PS - SJ, if you are reading this, I don't think most of us were aware of the God like worship we should be bestowing upon you - do you prefer Zeus, Apollo or Thor??

Lovethelies
Lovethelies

Funny I didn't know you could join a high school team half way through the year. I didn't know Austin Heidemann was the captain. I'm pretty sure Austin Latvala and Jacob Vaillancourt were the ones with the C's on there jeresys and you had the A. Terry Heidemann (the dad) was the one that got susppendid from the rest of the games and practices for going in the the locker room and yelling at kids and saying stuff that did not need to be said to a 14 year old when your the parent complaining. Great to see you at the biggest game of the year cheering against us when we won.

tommyjames
tommyjames

How do you suspend those players for wearing a diaper on there heads?  End of the world it is!!!!

intheknow215
intheknow215

There are a couple of important points missing. Dad interviewed in story was suspended from all remaining games and practices for rest of the year due to a locker room incident prior to quitting. Dad gets mad and makes son quit team but then both come out on a snowy Sunday night to cheer against old MG hockey team, real classy. I guess since they are not in the association anymore, the ban is not enforceable?  There is more to this story than the this article reports. 

Angela Salzl
Angela Salzl

Its maple grove, what do you expect? Typical behavior not only of the athletes but students in general. Its horrible and I hope at some point something is done about it.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Sick stuff.  But not surprising.  Stuff like what's been reported about the High School team doesn't come out of nowhere.  The whole system is sick.  Sounds like the same type of culture as in the Steubenville football case.  Unfortunately, it's not uncommon.

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