Program Profile: South Alberta Hockey Academy

Integrity, Leadership, Excellence

Providing world class academic and athletic experiences that leverage every student’s strengths.


Mission Statement

The South Alberta Hockey Academy provides a world class education-based hockey experience that cultivates integrity, leadership and excellence. Students, teachers, coaches and performance professionals collaborate to provide academic and athletic experiences that leverage every student’s strength.


Eagle Butte High School

EBHS serves the rural south east of Alberta surrounding Medicine Hat. Located in Dunmore, Alberta, 5 minutes east of Medicine Hat, EBHS accommodates approximately 450 students and has a staff of 42.


The Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre is located on the north boundary of Medicine Hat. Our training facilities are world class. Completely accessible, the Family Leisure Centre sits on 57 acres and boasts the following amenities:

  • Cenovus Arena – 100′ x 200′ Olympic size ice rink
  • 17,000 square foot Fitness Center, complete with 200-meter indoor running/walking track
  • Flexible program rooms and classrooms
  • Indoor Fieldhouse containing twin multi-sport indoor boarded fields
  • Multi-purpose gymnasium capable of accommodating 2 full size basketball courts
  • Kinsmen Aquatic Park
  • The Methanex Bowl, a premier (lighted) synthetic turf field for football/soccer/rugby
  • Three regulation size soccer pitches
  • Four high quality ball diamonds

The Cenovus Arena includes two South Alberta Hockey Academy dressing rooms for the female and male U18 Prep hockey teams. The dressing rooms include individual stalls designed by our U18 staff.

The Family Leisure Centre also contains multi-purpose rooms that are used as classrooms for students to engage and collaborate with teachers, educational assistants, coaches, and teammates.


Eagle Butte High School

Our U18 Prep female and male student-athletes are immersed in a unique learning environment that is split between the Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre and Eagle Butte High School. Being a member of our U18 Prep hockey program includes enrollment in sports-based academic courses that count towards Alberta high school credits. These courses are completed in the mornings on Monday through Friday at the FLC. Our students spend afternoons in-class at EBHS completing core courses.

Eagle Butte High School is an accredited SAT writing center that currently offers test writing opportunities at the end of August and beginning of May.

Our hockey academy also has a collaborative relationship with Coulee Collegiate which allows our student-athletes to complete high school courses online through distance learning. This collaboration allows our students to take additional classes and fast-track their graduation process. South Alberta Hockey Academy has designated teachers and educational assistants that track and assist in the completion of these courses.

Educational Support

The demanding schedule for our student-athletes requires additional educational support. In addition to the support our students receive from the EBHS teachers and staff, we have developed a pool of resources and supports that allow our student-athletes to learn and excel in a comfortable and accommodating environment. Our educational assistants monitor student grades and progress on a daily basis. This is important to the success of our student-athletes because of the busy education and training schedule SAHA has. This ensures the students do not fall behind in their studies and remain up-to-date on current lessons and assignments.

We have a teacher and an educational assistant that work with our student-athletes on a daily basis. The roles and responsibilities of our educational staff go beyond monitoring and tracking assignments. Our staff has been able to build relationships with our students and provide them with the time and resources to work, complete, and excel in their studies.

Many of our student-athletes wish to continue their hockey and academic careers through post-secondary education. For that reason, we have developed a SAT preparation program that allows our students to excel on their SATs in preparation for NCAA hockey.

Courses and Planning

The South Alberta Hockey Academy understands that school plays a pivotal role in the future success of our students whether as professionals or as athletes. In North America we are fortunate to have multiple post-secondary paths that allow student-athletes to obtain a degree while still competing at the highest level of hockey possible.

In collaboration with each individual student, we implement a roadmap that will prepare them for success and create additional opportunities at the collegiate level, whether this includes hockey or not. The South Alberta Hockey Academy has been fortunate to develop relationships with post-secondary institutions throughout North America which creates pathways and resources for our student-athletes to pursue their future ambitions.

Academic Standards

Our students’ grades are monitored on a daily basis by our education staff. We strive for excellence and believe that academics play an integral role in the future success of our student-athletes. If a student fails to meet expectations, there will be a discussion between the student and coach to determine the appropriate course of action. In addition to the monitoring of grades, we also monitor attendance. Classroom attendance is critical to the academic success of our student-athletes and is a mandatory requirement for all South Alberta Hockey Academy students.

Alberta Education High School Credits Earned

  • 5 PE Credits
  • 5 Fitness Credits
  • 5 Leadership Credits
  • 2 Wellness Credits
  • 25 Credits from Core Courses at EBHS

Residential Life

Billet Process

Our students who need room and board are billeted among a great group of local families. Our billets provide a safe and supportive environment that our student can call home. We have had great success through our billeting program and feel that it has been an integral part of our Academy. We have someone that facilitates the process and ensures that our students are placed in a home they will be comfortable with. This process includes an extensive screening process that ensures the family and student are the right fit for each other. Each billet family goes through a wide-ranging interview and reference check. The student is also asked a series of questions such as if they are okay living with children, pets, etc. This process ensures the student and his or her new billet family will be comfortable with one another.

Roles and Responsibilities within Billet Homes

Billet families must embrace the key roles and responsibilities outlined by the South Alberta Hockey Academy. These roles and responsibilities include:

  • Making the student-athlete feel at home
  • Provide a bed and personal space for the student-athlete
  • Provide healthy and nutritious meals daily
  • Cooperating and collaborating with academy personnel to ensure program expectations are being met
  • Help student-athletes learn new skills that will help them succeed on and off the ice

We believe that living with a billet family is an opportunity for our student-athletes to learn important life skills that will allow them to succeed in their next stage of life. Although we expect our billet families to take excellent care of our student-athletes, we also expect them to encourage self-sufficiency and independence. Many of our Academy Leadership courses require our students to perform particular projects and tasks around the billet home in an effort to develop important life skills.


Due to the age of U18 Prep hockey, many of our student-athletes are unable to transport themselves to and from school and practice. The South Alberta Hockey Academy provides bus transportation between the Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre and Eagle Butte High School.


Student-Athlete Health

Mental Health

The mental health of our student-athletes is our number one priority. Our personal Mental Performance Professional works with our students on a weekly basis, including individual check-ins and classroom mental skills training. This relationship has become an integral part of the personal and team success our student-athletes have been able to achieve.

Through our Mental Performance Professional, our students reflect on personal awareness through HONE Athletics. HONE allows our student-athletes to confidentially record and reflect upon their mental health with our Mental Performance Professional. This has become an invaluable tool in ensuring our students have what they need to live a happy and healthy life.

Strength and Conditioning

Baseline Testing: We will have our athletes complete a series of tests that will be repeated once a month for the duration of the season. Upon analysis of testing results we will work to give each athlete the right training to help him/her accelerate his/her progression in hockey. These tests include: 10-second peak power Wingate and 1-minute average power on bike (Watts/Kg), single leg lateral jump, standing long jump, standing triple jump, pull-ups, wall-sit variation, strict toes bar, push-up variation, standard plank hold.

Warm-up: We will work with each athlete on creating a warmup that works for him/her. As former players, we know that warm up is something that needs to be tailored to each individual’s needs and preferences. This isn’t military, this is hockey, and we feel that this is one area where players will have a lot of autonomy once the brief group warm-up has been completed.

Workouts: We will focus mainly on the essential in-season physiological aspects to maintain peak performance; legs, core, lungs, and mobility. The majority of the “hard” work will be done far enough away from competition that our athletes will not be hindered by the torn muscle tissue caused by hypertrophy and strength training.

Recovery: Our athletes will be doing a lot of active recovery such as low intensity aerobic activity (mainly light jogging and cycling), yoga, and mobility drills. Another integral piece of our recovery programming is the nutrition piece; prior to and after each training session/game we will ensure that athletes are consuming adequate levels of carbohydrates and protein so that he/she can accelerate recovery and maintain optimal performance for the duration of the season.

Injury Communication and Protocol

mTBI (Concussion) Task Force

The proper diagnosis and management of a concussed athlete requires a variety of resources and expertise as this condition is multifaceted. The physiological, psychological and social components of concussion management are key factors that need to be addressed in order to properly manage the athlete and re-engage in “safe return to play”.

We’ve created the establishment of a “mTBI Task Force” for the athletes of the South Alberta Hockey Academy. This task force will be one of the first of its kind and will consist of rehab practitioners, a speech-language pathologist and a psychologist.

The mTBI task force will:

  1. Implement a baselining and return to play protocol. Each player to be concussion baselined on the Kinetisense markerless motion capture system and completed on site or at the Kinetic Centre.
  2. Educate the athletes, coaches, parents, teachers and administration on the return to play protocols.
  3. Create and implement a concussion management protocol. Concussion baselining and clinical management to be done by Dr. Ryan Comeau, Dr. James and Skrenkowich and Dr. Marcia Kos from the Kinetic Centre. Data driven analytics paired with subjective symptom monitoring will be used for diagnosis and concussion management. When a concussion is diagnosed the speech-language pathologist and psychologist will be engaged as essential components of the return to play protocol.

The goal of this task force will be to establish evidence-based protocols and return to play procedures, ensuring the safe return to activities of daily life and sport.


Daily Rink Schedule

8:00am – 12:00pm       Practice


Mental Health and Wellness

Distance Learning Academics

Leaderships, Sport Psychology, Nutrition

Athletic Cognition & Academic Ownership

Academic & Athletic Planning & Goal Setting

Daily School Schedule

Period 4 – 12:45pm – 2:00pm

Period 5 – 2:05pm – 3:20pm

Period 6 – 3:30pm – 5:00pm (Mon-Thu first semester only)

Time Management Tools and Resources

Our student-athletes are provided with resources and guidance that will allow them to develop and optimize their time management proficiency. Whether moving on to junior hockey, college, or a professional career, time management is a sought-after attribute that will allow individuals to succeed.

We have a number of staff that have taken similar paths that our student-athletes wish to follow and are able to pass on knowledge and experiences of time management and the benefits of developing it as a skill. We also incorporate time management into our athletic planning curriculum. This comes as an immediate benefit to our students as we focus on how to balance the priorities of a social life, hockey, and school.

In order to succeed in our program, students will be required to learn, develop, and implement their time management skills into their daily lives to meet the athletic and academic demands of the South Alberta Hockey Academy.


Administrative Personnel

Name Position Contact
Willie Desjardins Senior Advisor
Melody Davidson Senior Advisor
Reagan Weeks President

PRSD Deputy Superintendent, Governor
Darren MacMillan General Manager, Governor, Teacher

Coaching Staff

Name Position Email
Brayden Desjardins Male Head Coach
Evan Vossen Female Head Coach
Gavin Broadhead Male Assistant Coach

Strength and Conditioning Coach
Torrin White Male Assistant Coach Educational Assistant
Matt Wong Goalie Coach

Hockey Support Personnel

Name Position Email
­­­Jaeger White On-Ice Skill Development
Stefan Meyer On-Ice Skill Development
Kale Kessy On-Ice Skill Development
Lachlan MacMillan Media and Analytics

Health and Wellness Personnel

Name Position Email
Janay Gregory Mental Performance Professional
Dr. Thomas Mohanraj Team Doctor
Dr. Chris Baba Team Dentist
Dustin Lang Physiotherapist
Greg Godard Psychologist
Ryan Comeau Chiropractor
Jason Van Mulligan Police Liaison

Program Cost

The cost for our full 10-month program is listed below. This includes academic tuition, participation in the hockey program, related hockey transfer fees, book costs, athletic clothing from the academy and team travel. Not included in your tuition are room and board, International Student fees and miscellaneous school fees.

Tuition Fees

(All fees are in Canadian funds)

The 2021-22 South Alberta Hockey Academy Program Fee is $19,500.


South Alberta Hockey Academy


918, 2nd Avenue

Dunmore, Alberta T1B 0K3


(403) 502-7362