Currently, the team is in need of one to two billet homes for players who come from out of town. The team is comprised of players from other cities in Ohio, from out of state and one player is from Russia. There are 22 of 30 players who are housed locally.
According to Deb Conrad, billet coordinator, the billet family is expected to provide a safe, comfortable home with a bed, closet and/or a dresser. The home will need to have access to laundry. The family should be able to provide prepared meals, leftovers or provide groceries for the player. There is a monthly stipend that assists with these expenses.
Further, downtime and privacy are also important for players. Those attending high school are expected to be respectful and achieve good grades. Players will either have their own cars, or carpool. It will be important that the family sets rules and expectations for the player
“Mentally, offer a comfortable, nurturing and loving family environment. We ask that players be treated as a family guest, not just a renter. For some players, this will be their first time away from home and they will need a stable living environment during their stay in Wooster. In short, families should take every opportunity to make their players feel like a member of the family. Each player is unique and communication and mutual understanding take effort,” Conrad said.
Training camp begins August 11, so it’s vital the players have a secure home by this date. The family can expect the player to stay until March or April, depending on whether or not the team qualifies for the USA Hockey National Tournament Championships. Players of high school age may finish out the school year in Wooster.
According to Valentino Hernandez, head coach of the Wooster Oilers, it is important the players have a place to reside because they need to be close to Alice Noble Ice Arena and HealthPoint. It’s important so the high school players can attend school. Lastly, Hernandez said, the players can get to know the city their fans are from. A nearby stay eliminates long travels and allows high school students to complete homework in a more comfortable setting.
“Many families who have billeted in the past usually look back at their experience with many fond memories. In fact, many families have stayed in touch with players they have billeted as those players move on to college or at higher ranks of their hockey careers,” Conrad continued.
Conrad also explained that empty-nesters are typically good placements for the players. Some families, however, find it takes more energy and time than they have available. It’s important that a billeting family have a lifestyle that would be feasible for the hockey player.
“We have one family whose kids have taken their hockey players to school for show and tell. We have had players go to their billet’s siblings school to read to the students or partake in other school activities. Players are glad to be involved with their families when their free time allows them,” Conrad said.
For more information, visit www.woosteroilers.com and click on the housing tab. Interested families can contact Deb Conrad at 330-682-2120 or by email at email@example.com.
Published: July 31, 2012