New London High School will offer boys’ hockey
Move aims to retain students
By Scott Bellile
New London High School will begin offering boys’ hockey through a cooperative next winter.
The New London School Board on Feb. 10 approved a partnership with the Fox Cities Stars cooperative hockey team.
“So the last five or six years, our school district has partnered with the Fox Cities Stars for female hockey,” NLHS Principal Brian Yerkey told the school board. “We’ve gotten a number of requests the last few years from [male] students [to play]. We’ve lost students to open enrollment to go play hockey for Waupaca or other schools in our area, so we had talked recently about adding men’s hockey to our school district.”
Yerkey said participating in the Fox Cities Stars would offer equality for NLHS boys and retain local youth in the School District of New London as hockey becomes more popular.
“We’ll keep, in the next I would say four or five years, 10 to 12 kids in our district by offering this at a very low cost to us to offer it,” Yerkey said. “So I really see no downside to this whatsoever.”
School board member Kim Schroeder asked what the cooperative would cost the district.
Yerkey said he had not received that information yet, but the district’s current participation in the girls’ cooperative is free, while there could be an “extremely low” cost to join the boys’ team.
“The expense isn’t a large expense,” Yerkey said. “Kids typically in hockey pay for their own equipment. We pay a small co-op fee, less than 500 bucks to participate in this co-op. It’s a great opportunity for our kids.”
Asked by school board member Mark Grossman if other boys’ hockey cooperatives exist in the area, Yerkey said yes, but the Fox Cities Stars team is the closest.
The Fox Cities Stars are led by Xavier High School in Appleton. The cooperative hockey team is currently comprised of athletes from six other high schools: Freedom, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Little Chute, Fox Valley Lutheran in Appleton and St. Mary Catholic in Neenah.
The Stars are part of the Badgerland Conference and are governed under the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Their opponents include teams from Fond du Lac, Appleton and Oshkosh as well as the Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha Rockets cooperative team.
The Stars finished third in their conference with a 5-3 record during the 2018-19 season.
They play their home games at Tri-County Ice Arena in Neenah.