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Skaneateles girls hockey gains momentum

Team gives girls from other schools a chance to play high school hockey

The captains of the 2012-13 Skaneateles High School girls hockey team (left to right) Sarah Sauda, Nora Garrett, Madison Singler and Amanda Lupo. The captains, who were elected by the team, all go to different high schools.

The captains of the 2012-13 Skaneateles High School girls hockey team (left to right) Sarah Sauda, Nora Garrett, Madison Singler and Amanda Lupo. The captains, who were elected by the team, all go to different high schools. Joe Genco

The first incarnation of the team was in the 2003-04 school year when a group of parents of female hockey players banded together to try and form a team. The team only had 13 players that year, all from Skaneateles.

After taking the next year off due to lack of players, the team returned in 2005-06 and spent two seasons doing fundraisers and gathering donations from the community to fund the team. After three successful seasons, the Skaneateles Board of Education voted to make the team an official varsity sport funded by the school starting with the 2008-09 season, Dove said.

Since 2010, the team has allowed girls from other districts to try out including West Genesee, Port Byron, Auburn, Baldwinsville and Marcellus. This arrangement helps the team have depth and gives an opportunity for girls from other districts to play at the high school level, Major said.

Skaneateles is a town that is well equipped to handle two high school teams because it has two ice rinks at its disposal. The girls call the older Austin Park Pavilion rink their home while the boys play at the YMCA rink.

When asked about why they play at the older rink, coach Major and the captains all said they prefer it there. Since their permanent locker room is there and they practice there, they think of it as their home ice. The girls even said the Austin rink has better ice than the YMCA one.

More girls playing youth hockey has been a trend over the past ten years both in Skaneateles and around the state, said Skaneateles Youth Hockey Association President Bill Marquardt.

The SYHA has all-girl teams in the 16-and-under and 19-and-under age divisions as well as plenty mixed in with the boys in the younger age teams. Of the 240 kids who play in the association this year, about one in four is a girl.

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