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Solvay hockey duties begin rotation among districts

For years students from Marcellus who want to play ice hockey have joined with students from nearby schools to compete on a team that was administrated, coached and mostly paid for by the Solvay Union Free School District.

Until last year, they had to pay part of their own way. Brad Dates, athletics director at Marcellus Central School District, has been working with the athletic directors from Solvay, Westhill, Jordan-Elbridge and Bishop Ludden schools to change that.

The schools involved are tackling administration of the hockey program as more of an equal partnership. MCSD will now have a part in the administration of the program that was once done entirely by Solvay, and it is a resolution that comes on the heels of MCSD's decision to change how the district finances the program.

"This has always been put together as a Solvay team. Over the years, it eventually became a combined team of these five schools with different numbers of players from each school. But we were still under the flagship of Solvay," Dates said.

John Dippold, athletics director for Solvay, said numbers for the past few years have been dwindling. Recently, the team has been made up of mostly players from Westhill and Marcellus, but Solvay was still shouldering administrative responsibility and most of the cost.

"We couldn't keep it going that way, especially with the budget the way it was," Dippold said.

This year, the athletic directors from the five schools have put together a rotating schedule so that each district takes a turn handling administrative duties like booking ice time, hiring officials and organizing transportation. In essence, the districts are trying to make it more fair.

"Solvay was paying for the lion's share," Dates said. "The board agreed we had a responsibility if we were going to be part of a shared agreement."

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