Players from Burlington High School boost CVU’s numbers
Nov. 23, 2011
By Mal Boright
The Champlain Valley girls hockey team will open practice for the new season Monday with three former dark blue clad Burlington Seahorses slated to wear the red and white flannels of the Redhawks.
No, the three players from Burlington High School will not be transferring into the Hinesburg brain foundry. They will remain at BHS but will compete for the ‘Hawks as part of a Vermont Principals’ Association program that allows member schools to pick up needed players from nearby schools that do not have a competing program in the particular sport.
“We did not think we would have enough players to field a team,” CVU athletic director Kevin Riell said in a telephone interview last week. “Burlington does not have a program so we were able to enter into a one-year agreement to get some of their players.”
BHS dropped the sport last year due to declining numbers.
Riell said a team needs at least 16 players to be able to participate safely in an interscholastic schedule.
Hockey is somewhat tricky due to another consideration pointed out in an interview last winter with Sophia Steinhoff, Vermont’s 2010 Miss Hockey, who is returning for her senior year.
Steinhoff observed that unlike some sports when numbers are low, a call for last-minute volunteers to play might not suffice. She said players need significant skating skills, which are not acquired quickly.
Riell agreed, adding that the low numbers at CVU are due in part to fewer players coming out of the feeder programs the past couple of years.
He expects between 18-20 players to answer the call Monday when new coach Ben Psaros whistles for skaters to hit the ice.
Psaros comes over from an assistant position with the boys team. He will be assisted by Michelle Pinaud.
The Redhawks will travel to Woodstock for a scrimmage Dec. 3 and open the season Dec. 10 against Colchester at Burlington’s Leddy Arena.