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Girls hockey builds more than just athletes

By Theresa Washburn, Vernon Broadcaster, 03/19/18, 8:30PM CDT


Thunderfest took place last weekend in Viroqua

slideshow photo by drew shonka

In February we watched the 2018 Winter Olympics. For those who followed the games with awe and respect at the athleticism and dedication of the athletes, it was hard to let go. They inspired us with their courage to keep trying, grace in the face of defeat and we shared their joy of their wins. The women’s hockey team was a favorite around here with many of those players hailing from Midwest.

In Viroqua, a small but for some, equally as important set of games will be played March 16-18. “Thunderfest” is the last weekend of ice at the Viroqua Community Arena and a celebration of girls hockey in our town. Over 150 girls and young women from about a dozen teams around the state will gather to mix and match it up on the ice one last time. Girls let go of their teams and play as the “Royal Blues” or “Neon Greens” and face off against their teammates. It is a rousing display of hockey being play for pure love of this sport.

Thunderfest, the brainchild of arena manager Pam Soltau, is a good fit for Viroqua girl’s hockey, which draws from one of the least populated areas in the state to build a high school girls team.

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