Hill boy’s hockey squad hoping to be back on ice in New Year
By Mark Newman, News Staff
The Hill Park Rams boy’s hockey team hasn’t won a championship since 1998 and this was the season they were hoping to end that drought.
After a 4-0 start, the Rams were in first place and dominating Division 2 play.
Following their 3-0 win over Westdale on Dec. 4, the players were told the season was being put on ice.
The labour dispute between the public high school teachers union and the provincial government over Bill 115 resulted in teachers planning to withdraw their services from extracurricular activities, including coaching sports teams and the public school board postponed high school sports indefinitely.
“We think we can actually win it (a Division 2 championship) this year and it feels like it’s been taken away,” said Cosburn Warner, a Grade 12 student and fourth-year forward and assistant captain of the hockey team.
Warner said the Rams’ head coach Peter Kraayvanger informed the players that the league was being suspended.
“Everyone was kind of disappointed, but we knew it was coming,” Warner said.
Rams’ captain Jack Dungey said he’s hoping the dispute will get settled sooner than later.
“I feel the teachers would be willing to still put in time to come help us, but they can’t,” he said. “Our team is basically just waiting it out at the moment, hopefully by Christmas or just after that, it will get resolved.”
Warner said the players are looking at practicing amongst themselves by going to shinny once at week at the Mohawk 4 Pad Arena.
The postponement will cost most Hamilton public high school boy’s hockey teams two or three games prior to the Christmas-holiday break, with the bulk of the regular season slated to run between Jan. 9 and Feb 20.
Also off to a good start this season is the Hill Park senior girl’s volley ball team.
The team went unbeaten at a preseason tournament and was 2-0 in league play when action was suspended.
“The team is doing good this year, it’s disappointing that it’s ending,” said Alison Dungey, a Grade 11 student and starting left side on the volleyball team and Jack’s sister. “Hopefully they can fix the problems and we can continue with our season.”
With files from Robert Mackenzie