Come winter, lady hockey players will be donning rival uniforms as part of the schools’ new co-op agreement.
The Minnesota State High School League approved the co-op in April 2011, following to allow Richfield’s to compete with the AHA team during the 2011-12 season.
“We think it will be a win-win for both schools and the community,” told Richfield Patch. “Now our youth girls have an opportunity to play at the high school level.”
AHA’s athletic director, Mike Kautzman, agreed and said: “At this point, it makes sense for both schools … and it’s nice to be involved with Richfield. Richfield [High School] is only six blocks away and the more we can cooperate and work together, the better.”
The best part? Kautzman said he didn’t anticipate any cuts.
“We believe at this time we have enough for a varsity and a JV team and there will be no need for cuts,” he said. “[We think we’ll have] 25 to 30 girls in the whole program.”
This will likely be welcome news to players and parents who were disappointed after the .
“I think the hard part for parents was that they didn’t believe the pool of players could have evaporated so quickly,” Olson said.
And while there may be no cuts, Olson also said the girls will still have to compete for their respective spots.
AHA will be the host school for the program. Currently the school is involved with the Missota Conference, however, Kautzman said the first season will be played on an independent schedule.
“Playing on an independent schedule is nice because we can have more control over the teams we play,” he said. “We’ve really created a schedule to play local, metro area teams.”
Opponents will include Bloomington Kennedy, Simley, Minnehaha Academy and Holy Family Catholic high schools. Kautzman also said the girls are scheduled to travel to the Milwaukee area to play Arrowhead High School and University School of Milwaukee in January 2013.
“It’s something new and we hope it will create some excitement with the program,” he said.
The co-op agreement will last for two years. Following the 2013-14 season, the agreement will be reevaluated. Both schools have the opportunity to return to independent programs if they so choose. Practices begin at the end of October.