The 24 members of Montgomery Blair High School’s co-op ice hockey club team are being told that they’ll have to split up if they want to continue playing.
The club team is a co-op team, comprised of students from four different schools. The rules of the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League are that if there are more than 13 players on a co-op team from a single school, those players must form their own single-school (aka “pure”) team, Dave Cannon, club sponsor for the Albert Einstein High School ice hockey club team and the assistant coach of the Blair co-op team, explained to Patch.
At the beginning of this year’s season, the Blair co-op team had 13 players from Blair, six players from Albert Einstein, two players from Northwood High School and one from The Siena School. But, when a couple more players from Blair joined the team a few weeks into the season, the Blair contingent was bumped up to 15, and the league told the players they’d have to split up, Cannon said.
The Blair players have been told to form their own team, and the other players will have to join some other school’s team. But, that’s not what the players want, Cannon added.
“Nine players don’t want to be forced to play for a team they don’t want to play for,” he said. And, it will be hard for the Blair team to be competitive if the club team is split up. They’ll lose a goalie, and they’ll be competing against teams with enough players to field both varsity and junior varsity squads, he explained.
The players already have paid more than $1,000 each to play on the Blair co-op team. For the Blair students to field their own team, they might have to pay more, which might not be feasible. The club might end up folding altogether, Cannon explained.
There are a “lot of unhappy kids and unhappy parents,” Cannon added.
One option to splitting up the team could be to become an independent team, but Cannon isn't sure how that would work.
Players, parents and coaches met Monday evening to discuss the issue, but—as of Tuesday afternoon—no determination had been made about what to do.
The players—23 boys and one girl—just want to play ice hockey together, as a co-op club team, and are hoping that the league will allow them to do that.