Adirondack United to bring girls high school hockey to the ice

A brand-new high school game will start in the Glens Falls space this iciness, as the Adirondack United — a girls varsity ice hockey crew — holds its inaugural season.

The Adirondack United, who had been formally presented Thursday in a press unlock, will pull from six native high faculties — Corinth, Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, Queensbury, Saratoga Springs and South Glens Falls.

The girls ice hockey crew, a primary for Section II, will play its house video games at the Glens Falls Rec Center. It will supply an outlet for girls who prior to now may simplest play travel-team hockey for his or her golf equipment, or play with — and in opposition to — boys on their high school hockey crew.

“It’s real, it’s not a rumor,” Adirondack United trainer Jeff Willis mentioned with amusing, referring to the communicate surrounding the program over the closing couple of years.

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“Just having Section II announce it makes it real,” he added. “People even in the hockey world didn’t believe it was real.”

The Adirondack United is an immediate outgrowth of the a success Adirondack Northstars program, a part of the Glens Falls-based Adirondack Youth Hockey Association. The expansion in recognition of girls’s school ice hockey, together with extremely a success methods at Clarkson and Plattsburgh State, has additionally greater hobby at the more youthful ranges. There are a number of girls high school hockey groups in different spaces of the state.

“We’re pulling from a talented group of girls that have won state titles at the club level. We’re going to compete immediately,” mentioned Willis, an area engineer from South Glens Falls whose 3 daughters all performed with the Northstars. “We have the fastest-growing girls youth hockey program in the state, and the only one with more players is out by Buffalo.

“Just having the alternative to play high school hockey is very large,” added Willis, noting that recent standout female hockey players like his oldest daughter, Lauren, and Queensbury’s Brigid Duffy moved on to other sports like lacrosse and field hockey, rather than continue in ice hockey.

The Adirondack United got off the ground thanks to a push from parents and players in recent years, with a focus on sustaining the program for years to come.

“The girls went to somewhat a couple of school board conferences,” Willis said. “The largest factor was once they’d to display the school forums that this isn’t only a one-and-done factor to get advantages a small pocket of children and be long past. They confirmed we’ve the numbers going out for years, down to the kindergarten degree, that may stay this program viable for the subsequent 10 years.

“I think it would’ve happened two years earlier if COVID hadn’t gotten in the way,” he added. “But some of the COVID funding schools have received also made this possible.”

The United apply the fresh development of a couple of faculties becoming a member of forces to be offering a game that a person school would now not be in a position to by itself — like the Adirondack Rivermen, the boys varsity ice hockey crew that has blended Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, South High and Warrensburg athletes.

“We couldn’t do it with just one school — the numbers just aren’t there — but when you get six school districts this size, it becomes viable,” Willis mentioned. “It’s probably the biggest joint venture in girls high school hockey, and possibly in any sport in the state. The amount of cooperation we’ve gotten from superintendents and athletic directors is unbelievable.”

The program hopes to be the first of a number of in Section II.

“Our goal is to generate so much excitement that within the next four to five years, we will start seeing additional teams pop up throughout the Capital Region,” South High athletic director Matt Griep mentioned in a press unlock. “We ultimately want Section 2 represented in the state championships.”

“I think the biggest schools in Section II will jump on board pretty quick,” Willis mentioned.

The United will start preserving tryouts for girls in grades 9-12 on Nov. 14 at the Rec Center, and can play in opposition to established girls hockey groups from Sections VII, X and III, in addition to Vermont. They are scheduled to play at protecting state champion Skaneateles on Nov. 23, and play their first house recreation on Dec. 3 in opposition to Beekmantown. Willis mentioned they may play a few house video games at Cool Insuring Arena.

“There are very few firsts in life, and to be part of the very first girls hockey program in Section II will be very special for them,” mentioned Willis, who mentioned he has a pool of no less than 35-40 avid gamers who’re most probably to be focused on enjoying.

“We’re extremely excited and blessed to be in an area where the community embraces ice hockey,” Griep mentioned in the press unlock. “We have the infrastructure and support to make this a reality. … We know it’s going to be a huge success. We’re already hearing the buzz. I’ve been fielding calls about schools wanting to join the merger, so we know it is generating interest.”

Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity

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