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Caz, Hamilton hockey teams to merge

— A number of parents of district hockey players were in attendance, some in favor of the merger, others opposed. Apprehension rose with the idea of accepting Hamilton players to the team while possibly cutting Cazenovia athletes, causing the board to decide no cuts would be made to the roster this year. Other parental worries expressed dealt with the children’s playing time and varying competitive levels.

Davignon had previously expressed concern that having too many players on the ice during practices would lead to dangerous situations while decreasing individual instruction time. However, board members felt this would be an opportunity for the district to ensure the future of the hockey program in Cazenovia while assisting Hamilton players who would otherwise sit the season out.

The board discussed the issue at length, and while the final decision wasn’t reached unanimously, the overall sense was positive. If the arrangement works well, the schools will look to extend the one-year agreement next year.

“I am pleased that the Cazenovia Board of Education spent thoughtful time in voting on the proposed merger between Cazenovia High School and Hamilton High School. I am looking forward to working with the Hamilton Athletic Department and our new teammates in Hamilton to help make this transition as smooth as possible for the hockey programs,” Byrnes said. “We agree that as time moves forward, this moment will be looked at as an important time in the preservation of what has been a longtime and successful tradition of hockey being a sport offered through our CCSD sports program.”

Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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