by Nicole Reitz
Superintendent Bill Lynch and Athletic Director Chris Ells came before the Fulton Board of Education last Tuesday to discuss the possibility of merging other districts with the varsity hockey team.
Lynch said that the district is currently in conversation with Phoenix, Red Creek and most recently, Central Square. Central Square currently has a combined program with East Syracuse-Minoa.
Other school districts would be responsible for transporting their students. Licensed drivers could drive themselves to practice as long as parents are comfortable with that.
“We’re not responsible for how the students get to practice,” said Lynch.
Students in other districts must also follow Fulton’s code of conduct standards. Ells said that he would be in constant contact with those schools athletic directors, making sure the students are passing classes and meeting required attendance.
In order for the Fulton varsity hockey team to go further with a combined team, first there would need to a policy change. The old policy limits the opportunity to combine teams only in the event of dissolving the team because of lack of participation.
“We are precariously close with our participation numbers,” said Lynch.
Fulton’s varsity hockey team currently has 17 to 18 players, including ninth graders. This past year, there were no significant injuries or eligibly issues, but if there were, participation would be too low to continue on with the season.
Potential numbers of the combined team were shared. The Fulton team is looking at up to 32 students with 23 suiting up for a game. The rotation of the players would be up to coach Todd Terpening.
Ells said that Terpening is ready for the venture and recently provided him with a plan about how a two-hour practice would look like with 25 to 30 students on the team.