Hockey merge

On the night of Wednesday, October 26, Saint Paul Public Schools merged the Central and Highland hockey teams. For the past 5 years, Highland Park Hockey has been it’s own team, with Como and Central being merged together. There are mixed feelings about the merge, on one hand it brings in new, good players. However, on the other hand Central/Como were Highland’s biggest rivals.

In an interview with Charlie Dombrow, a Junior at HPHS, and #14 on the hockey team, he says “I don’t think it was necessary because they [SPPS] admitted they had enough players, just not the amount of quality players. This is the exact situation that we were in 2 years ago.” His viewpoint is interesting, and valid as well. Scots hockey has struggled for the past couple of years but showed promise last year, and looked like a good team even before the merge this year.

Gabe Nelson, a Junior at HPHS and #12 for Scots hockey, is divided on the issue. “I think it’s good for the future of the team because it’ll encourage more players to join and play. We’ll have a JV team that will develop varsity players,” he says. “But it sucks for the community this year because the Highland families worked really hard to get us where we are.” Highland just got a brand new locker room at the Schultz Arena, designed specifically for them. The locker room was made with help from the parents and community around the team, and it makes sense why they would be hesitant to share it with their ex rival.

Overall, Scots hockey could benefit from this merge. With the increase of players having the opportunity to join, and having new talent on the team, the Scots could improve. However, it just doesn’t feel right for some of the players. The rivalry with Central has been fueled for years in all sports with intense games and heartbreaking losses. Either way, I will still support Scots hockey this year.

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