Hockey co-ops aren't going anywhere

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Hockey co-ops aren't going anywhere

Postby MBRer » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:07 am

Hockey co-ops aren't going anywhere

... For Pelton's team, it's not as easy as no school, no practice. He is a junior on the Poland/Gray-New Gloucester/Oak Hill/Leavitt cooperative boys' hockey team. If Pelton, a Gray-NG student, has school on a day it snows, that means he probably still has hockey practice later that day at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. But if Poland, Oak Hill or Leavitt don't have school, Pelton might be out a linemate, or a goalie to shoot on.

If that were the only issue that cooperative hockey teams had to deal with, the Ice Hockey Committee of the Maine Principals' Association wouldn't be looking into adjusting how the state's high school sports governing body classifies boys' and girls' ice hockey, as well as other sports under the MPA's watch. ... re/2047939
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Re: Hockey co-ops aren't going anywhere

Postby Tinytim4 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:28 pm

Great topic!
First of all we can blame MEAHA and USA Hockey for the state of high school hockey. Their regionalization of travel teams, and then the no borders are what destroyed youth hockey. Every youth parent thinks that their child is going pro and are willing to pour thousands of dollars into their childs hockey. They will travel hours just to go to practice, all chasing a winner. By doing this they have made it too expensive for many to try hockey at a young age. Southern Maine may be an exception and Casco Bay had always done it correctly, but I can tell you its tough to try and get 6 yr olds out with sticker shock. Parents find a pair of sneakers and a warm gym much more inviting then 5am in a cold rink with $1000 in equipment. Let alone the team fees.
I think its a joke watching these kids with all the matching helmets, apparel, bags and so on. Ice hockey is all about ice time. You want to get better you need to be on the ice. I don't care how good you look, you need to be on the ice. Many towns no longer have outdoor rinks, you rarely see pond hockey. The parent who takes the time to build the home rink will tell you that's where their kids get better. The problem is too many people have found a way to make money and good money on our youth and gullible parents. We have created year round athletes, and yet the experts tell us to play multiple sports. A decade ago there were so many house programs with viable town teams. There are still the power house hockey towns of Lewiston, Biddeford, Waterville, and even the Gardiner's and Winslow's but those are soon coming to an end as well. Lewiston and Biddeford may survive for a bit. Waterville will not field a team on its own next year, nor will Winslow for long. Gardiner whose youth program finally had to cave in as there just wasn't ice or they had to travel by a rink only to go to another for ice.
The classification solution should be simple. If you have enough players for a jv team then you are an A school. If you have 20 or less then you are a B school. If hockey wants to survive it will have to be mostly co-ops, but the root of it is going to be towns recognizing that if they want to have a h.s. hockey team, then you need a local youth program. Too many trying to chase a dream at 6 - 10 yrs. old, and not enough getting their friends to come out and play some good ole ice hockey. I am fortunate that my kids had the opportunity to play in high school, and although, the youth years were fun, they were nothing like high school. I hope that not only will the mpa see that this problem will not fix itself over the next 10 years, but that parents will realize that they just might want to see their kids play high school for their home town then to travel an hour to play for a travel team made up of kids from all over the state, only to destroy their own local program, and then possibly not have a team to play on in high school.
Regardless it needs to be fixed at the youth level if high school hockey is to survive in Maine.
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Re: Hockey co-ops aren't going anywhere

Postby interloper » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:35 pm

You hit the nail on the head when you mention about parents who think their kids are going to go pro or pay for their college eduction. I do have a friend whose son ended up a D1 program, after foregoing high school hockey for the travel teams and then playing 2 years after high school in the juniors and getting the precious scholarship. She told me that she and her husband figured out the money it cost them over the years, between equipment, travel, ice time, etc. That is not to mention the time they lost with family. They figured that with all the money that they spent, they could have paid for his college education and both him a car.
The other point you made about playing in high school. Playing on a travel team in Worcester one night, and then Winslow the next playing in front of a couple of dozen parents and the non-existent scouts is not nearly as good as playing on your high school team in front of your classmates cheering for you as you play a rival high school.
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Re: MPA makes changes for co-op teams

Postby Tom Nolette » Tue May 30, 2017 3:38 am

MPA makes changes for co-op teams

...Several schools have formed cooperative teams in certain sports. Caribou Presque Isle and Maine School of Science and Mathematics formed a coop swim team and competed under the name Carlisle. Houlton, Hodgdon, Southern Aroostook and Katahdin compete in hockey and in the past East Grand and Greater Houlton Christian Academy competed in basketball, baseball and softball. Burnham thinks the relaxation on the enrollment numbers might give more students an opportunity to compete in a sport that may not be offered by their High School. ... 78204.html
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