The boys no longer will be the only ones skating to hockey glory for Fort High. The Muskie girls’ team is now looking to start a tradition all its own.
“The number-one goal we have is to build a team—one that works hard, works together, and looking to start a tradition just like the boys,” co-coach Greg Madill noted after the first night of tryouts here Monday.
Although many of those vying for a spot on the team stressed the first night of tryouts was hard, most were confident in their ability to make the team.
“The first night went good. It’s a bit tiring since I haven’t been skating for a while,” said Katelyn Kelly, who has been playing hockey since she was eight years old and last year was asked to try out for the 18-and- under women’s Ontario team.
“I think I have a good chance of making the team,” she enthused. “I am excited because it is the Muskies and [if I make it], I get to represent my school.”
Avid ringette player but novice hockey player Carling Barton agreed the tryouts went well but that it was weird to skate again.
“[Hockey] is a lot harder than ringette,” echoed Tara Lloyd, a friend of Barton’s. “Shooting a puck, stick-handling, and the totally different rules.
“[But] I am excited to play and I am looking forward to the year,” she added.
Madill noted the girls who make this inaugural Muskie girls’ team will be under a microscope because of the buzz around town.
But he also stressed the intention of the coaches is to make sure everyone comes out of these tryouts with a positive experience—that’s the bottom line.
“We want every young girl in town to come out and say when I grow up, I want to be a part of that,” enthused Madill.
Madill added all the other coaches are excited because everything is moving in the right direction.
“Tryouts were really very good—it was a nice turnout,” said Mark Lafleur of the 30-plus girls who showed up for the first night of tryouts.
“It is good, everything will come with time — they are nervous,” he remarked. “I know I am.
“We are starting a high-performance team,” Lafleur added. “Don’t worry about making mistakes. We are looking for people whose mistake we can improve upon.”
The coaches stressed Monday that they are looking for players who are talented, have good work habits, are coachable, listeners, and leaders to set an example for others.
The first cuts were set to be made yesterday after the second day of tryouts.
“The is the part we hate,” admitted Madill. “For the girls who don’t make the team, keep trying because you might get another chance. Don’t give up.
“Good luck and keep working hard,” he stressed.