Varsity hockey approved by board of education for Glenwood
The Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the addition of varsity and junior varsity ice hockey for Glenwood Springs High School at the March 14 board meeting. The district’s green light was a pivotal step towards the long-sought sanction.
High school hockey in Glenwood Springs gained a toe-hold two years ago when Yampah Mountain High School started a JV team. The Colorado High School Activities Association changed its regulations and required that the school add a second varsity sport if it wanted to expand the hockey program. The small, Mountain BOCES-district school was unable to do so and after two successful seasons at the JV level, it was announced in January that Yampah would drop the sport at the end of the current season.
That announcement brought some urgency to the situation and spurred a core group of parents in the Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association to action. Working closely with Glenwood Springs Athletic Director Craig Denney, a solid application was prepared and Denney presented it to the board. During the meeting, the board members and administrators expressed their support, but noted the program’s resource needs. Specifically, the additional workload on Denney was discussed in the meeting. Denney stepped up to the plate, saying that the additional workload needed to be taken on by Glenwood for the kids.
“We have nearly 40 kids in the area that play hockey,” Denney said. “Things worked out for us here in Glenwood that we could take this one and give the kids a chance to play hockey at the varsity level.”
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The push for approval was supported by GSYHA, which offers competitive youth hockey for ages 6-18. Currently, the nearest high school hockey programs are in Aspen and Vail. Club hockey in the state is on the decline, and many were concerned their kids would not have a competitive league in the state when they reached high school.
Pending one final hurdle of approval by CHSAA, the Demons’s hockey program will join a reorganized Western Slope Conference, in the 36-team league for the 2018-19 season. The Demons will play Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Summit, Battle Mountain and West Elk, along with teams in other conferences. Varsity will play approximately 19 games, 15 games for JV, from December through February, with the opportunity for post-season play.
Glenwood’s approval comes with conditions. In a nod to the high cost of hockey, staff recommended the program be self-funded initially. The school has the option to phase in full funding by 2024. The parent group is now organizing a booster club and soliciting sponsors to help defray costs.
To learn more about how you can support the exciting new Demon Hockey program, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/glenwoodsprings.hockey.3, make a donation at http://www.youcaring.com/glenwoodspringshockey, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Glenwood hockey apparel will be available soon.
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