Going, going, gone

Matthew Molloy
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After helping officiate the high school girl's regional hockey tournament a while back, and after speaking with King Academy head coach Dominic Ricketts following the game, one thing is abundantly clear.

Girl's hockey will be missed around here if that program is cancelled. The Connaigre Arena saw more bodies than a Wednesday night New Jersey Devils home game in the regional finals, and the atmosphere there was more than electric. However, the home bench was short and we're not talking about physical height. The interest in playing just wasn't there.

After helping officiate the high school girl's regional hockey tournament a while back, and after speaking with King Academy head coach Dominic Ricketts following the game, one thing is abundantly clear.

Girl's hockey will be missed around here if that program is cancelled. The Connaigre Arena saw more bodies than a Wednesday night New Jersey Devils home game in the regional finals, and the atmosphere there was more than electric. However, the home bench was short and we're not talking about physical height. The interest in playing just wasn't there.

The question that must be asked now is this. Who will step up and fill the void left by the graduating players? Or better yet, will anybody step up?

That's the question that surrounds recreation in every town, isn't it? Who will step up. If not for local high school players and a few junior high players, the open Sunday night hockey league in Harbour Breton would have collapsed quicker than Doug Gilmour's second stint with the Maple Leafs.

Now the high school girl's team faces the same fate. Like every school team, whether it's athletics or debate, younger students have to show interest to prolong the program. This isn't the pro ranks, you can't sign other high school players to a one-year contract. It's either step up or shut down and right now it looks like the Warriors may be iced for an undetermined period of time.

What's even harder to understand is how younger girls who enjoy hockey, and those of them that saw the final, aren't enticed to give it a shot. Sure, let's be honest. Some girls may not have the necessary gear to play and hockey isn't the cheapest sport to play. Unlike soccer, for example, you can't just go buy cleats or sneakers and go.

However, for those that do have the equipment and for those what enjoy the game, what's holding you back? It isn't like the team practices five times a week. Team sports provide the camaraderie everybody needs and it also provides a competitive, yet fun atmosphere that everybody should participate in. Competition is a great thing. Sure, we all like to win, but coaches are never upset with a loss when their team competes. It's the non-hustle that forces the hair to fall out in patches.

Please, don't get me wrong. We're not saying the high school girl's program is the only one suffering here. Anybody who visits the arena knows how far the depleting numbers soar. Whether it's the money or interest, something has led to this sad state of affairs. But why now?

editor@thecoaster.ca

Organizations: King Academy, New Jersey Devils, Maple Leafs

Geographic location: Harbour Breton

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