With four generations of Terwilligers watching, Ervie Terwilliger took the ice for the Maryland Black Bears Saturday night to continue his own chapter of the hockey journey of the Terwilliger family. Donning the #11, Terwilliger was held off the scoresheet, but became the first player from Mount St. Joseph High School to play at the Tier II level of hockey while still enrolled at the school.
The Terwilliger family has plenty of lineage in Maryland hockey, especially at MSJ. Ervie’s grandfather, Erv, coached MSJ from 1991 until 2012 bringing numerous state championships to the school and leaving a mark on the area. His untimely passing in 2017 led to the creation of the Ervin J. Terwilliger Award for Mid-Atlantic Prep League Coach of the Year. Ervie’s father, Erv, played for the Howard Huskies, MSJ, and then at the University of Delaware before starting his own company in the Maryland area.
Terwilliger’s story of getting a chance to play a higher level of hockey without going too far away from home is becoming more and more frequent with the Maryland Black Bears in town. Players on the roster already that played in the local high school ranks include Sean Kilcullen (Gonzaga), Kevin Scott (Briar Wood), Miles Gunty (St. Albans), Jesse Horacek (St. John’s), and Dimitry Kebreau (St. John’s) come from the DMV high school landscape to the Black Bears. Previous to them were Collin Berke (Spalding) and Andrew Takacs (DeMatha) who were able to play back in the area they started.
It may not have been the desired idea for the Black Bears when they started, but the availability for elite local players to have a higher level to practice or play in without having to go that far away from their home has been crucial for the development of hockey in this area. While the youth hockey and high school hockey scene in Maryland has been growing, having the Black Bears as a measuring stick for these area players to look at and know what they need to go to get to that next level is a huge boost. There are players that leave the area go find their way, sure, but it’s not like it’s the only option to go to in order to advance in the sport from the Mid-Atlantic.
For now, the Black Bears have a solid mix of players who are from the area and those outside of it. They can bring in the local players for them to get a feel for the speed and physicality of the game, while also maybe getting an early look at what these players could bring to the table.