Four officials working the WIAA State High School Hockey Tournament have Merrill ties


Four officials with ties to the Merrill Hockey Program worked the Wisconain Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Boys and Girls State Hockey Championships on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton, Wis.
Officiating at the Boys Championship game
John Annis, who played for Merrill Youth Hockey as a child and then went on to play goalie for high school hockey, officiated the Division 1 Boys Championship game between the second-seeded Notre Dame Academy Tritons and the fourth-seeded Brookfield Stars [Brookfield East/Brookfield Central/Hamilton/Menomonee Falls/Wauwatosa East/Wauwatosa West Co-op], during which Notre Dame won its second successive Division 1 Championship.
Officiating at the Girls Championship game
Three Schroders – father Bryan Schroder and sons Ryan Schroder and Brandon Schroder – with Merrill Hockey ties were on hand to work the Girls Championship Game on Saturday. Bryan Schroder, who is a past Coach and past Board Member of the Merrill Youth Hockey Association, has officiated in the WIAA for 26 years and lined the Girls Championship Game.
Ryan Schroder, who began playing Merrill Youth Hockey at age 8 and went on to play for the high school hockey team until his 2003 graduation, has officiated in the WIAA for 21 years and acted as referee at Saturday’s Girls Championship Game.
Brandon Schroder, whose Merrill Youth Hockey days began even earlier at age 6 and continued on through high school hockey and his own 2005 high school graduation, has officiated WIAA hockey events for 19 years and also acted as referee at the Girls Championship Game.
All three also have a long history as USA Hockey officials.
The game they officiated – between the number one-seeded Central Wisconsin Storm [D.C. Everest/Marathon/Merrill/Mosinee/Wausau East/Wausau West Co-op] and the former defending champions, the Bay Area Ice Bears [De Pere/Ashwaubenon/Bay Port/Green Bay East/Green Bay Preble/Green Bay Southwest/Green Bay West/Notre Dame/Pulaski/Seymour/West De Pere Co-op] – resulted in a Central Wisconsin Storm win for the 2024 Girls State Championship title.
Merrill roots spread wide
Annis and all three of the Schroders have also worked USA National Championship games and NCAA Championship games, as well as Championship games for the Great Lakes Hockey League, and they regularly work youth games throughout Wisconsin for their local hockey associations. Annis now lives in Madison, both Ryan and Brandon Schroder live in Wausau, and Bryan Schroder still resides in Merrill.

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