With the Rock County Fury girls hockey team making its first appearance ever at the WIAA Girls Hockey Tournament, the question begs to be asked.
Has girls hockey here in Rock County caught on ?
I say yes.
I was at the meeting when the team name was decided and the colors were picked and I must admit I was a little puzzled. I mean neon green and black? Fury? C'mon now.
Well, eight seasons later and with an off-the-radar new coach, the Fury finally won a couple playoff games and a sectional championship. While their run at State was cut short, it was by a VERY good Hayward/Spooner squad who won it all.
But coach Dave Soddy told me all season they were under the radar. Playing a good schedule and just not able to finish off the close games held them out of the Top Ten. Goalie Molly Gross kept the team in games until they could get over that hump. The emergence of Maggie Henschler as a goal scorer was a big boost and the steady play of Alyx Richards always helped.
As the season got deeper the belief they could make it to State got stronger. Close games suddenly were going their way. But still no respect in the polls. Finally the end of season poll—a seventh place in the WiPH ranking—capped off a great season.
Now you're not under the radar.
Hats off to the coaches and parents who got the whole program up and going. The girls Fury program that feeds the team has a couple of good classes coming through. Assistant Coach Jason Jerome, who spent many hours coaching his daughter and other girls, now sees that the hard work they and the other players put in ended in success.
Tom Shafranski informed me during the game that this was the largest crowd ever for a girls game in WIAA history. I mean, 24 fan buses from Janesville alone speaks volumes. Now the real trick in my eyes is for the students to go support the girls during the regular season.
With the growth of hockey here at the high school levels, and the resurgence of attendance at Janesville Jets games, I wonder maybe is it time to get a facility for all of these user groups. And with Milton now in its third year of WIAA hockey ice time has seen a huge demand in this area.
Just a thought.
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