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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

Introducing the New Caprock Academy Hockey Team: A Game-Changer for Local High Schoolers

New Hockey Team

In a thrilling development for ice hockey enthusiasts in the Grand Junction area, Caprock Academy is all set to host its very own hockey team. The best part? This opportunity isn’t just limited to Caprock students; it’s open to high schoolers from across the district and surrounding areas.

Crystal Green, an advocate for high school hockey and a key figure in making this dream a reality shared her excitement, saying, “There is ice hockey in the valley! Caprock Academy will be the host for the team, but all students in the district and surrounding areas are available to play for the team as long as Caprock is the closest affiliate.”

The unique aspect of this team is its dual identity. Players will experience the best of both worlds, spending part of the season as the Grand Junction River Hawks at the River City Sportsplex and the other part as the Caprock Eagles, also hosted at River City. This combination of team play promises to extend the season, providing players with more opportunities to hone their skills and compete.

For families who’ve invested time, money, and effort into the sport of hockey, the introduction of high school hockey is a dream come true. In the past, players often lacked the chance to represent their school, limiting opportunities for recognition and college prospects. Green emphasized, “Not playing in high school really limits opportunities in college.”

Hockey is renowned for its high costs, especially in regions where travel is unavoidable. To address this challenge, the hockey community is rallying together with extensive fundraising efforts to support the startup program.

The drive to establish a high school hockey team stems from parents and garners full support from the Grand Junction hockey community. Their goal is to ensure that high school hockey remains a fixture in the area for years to come.

Green, a parent and coach herself, highlighted the personal connection to this initiative, stating, “As a parent, and coach, of the 10U River Hawks, it is hard to imagine my players not having a future in hockey after so many years of pouring into the sport. With the high school team, there is a chance my players can play beyond 18U.”

One crucial aspect to note is that hockey under CHSAA is co-ed, eliminating the need for Caprock to introduce a separate girls’ team sport to comply with Title IX regulations. This inclusive approach has already attracted a diverse group of aspiring players.

The feeder system, with support from organizations like the River City Sportsplex ice rink, is vital for developing a competitive team and fostering a fervent hockey culture in the Grand Junction area. The Eagles will compete in the Class 4A Mountain League, which includes formidable opponents like Glenwood Springs, Summit, Durango, Steamboat Springs, Battle Mountain, and Crested Butte.

Eligibility for the team extends beyond Caprock students, welcoming players from various schools in the area, including Plateau Valley, Cedaredge, Delta, and more, as long as Caprock is the closest team.

While the sport promises an exciting future, players will need to adhere to Caprock’s academic requirements, maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA and failing up to one class.

As the Grand Junction 18U River Hawks club team temporarily halts during the CHSAA season, anticipation builds for the inaugural games at the River City Sportsplex.

The introduction of the Caprock Academy Hockey Team marks a significant milestone for high school sports in the area. It’s a testament to the dedication of parents, coaches, and the broader community, working together to provide high schoolers with a unique opportunity to pursue their passion for hockey while representing their schools with pride. The puck has dropped, and the excitement is palpable as the Caprock Eagles take flight on the ice.

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Rosemary Surroz
Rosemary Surroz, Staff Member
Hey there! I'm a math-loving sophomore and the video editor for the newspaper. I believe that reporting on current events is super important. When I'm not crunching numbers, you can find me exploring my creative side in the school film club. Let's make a positive impact and spread knowledge together!
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