Playing with teammates from three different schools can present a challenge. But Staples, Stamford, and Westhill have run with the idea in order to field a girls’ ice hockey team since the schools do not have enough players to each field their own team.
Staples co-oped with Trumbull last season and finished with a record of 6-12. However, according to Kelly Gurahian ’14, this year Trumbull decided to co-op with a neighboring school, St. Joes, instead of with Staples.
The change actually benefits Staples players as far as travel time. It is a shorter drive to the ice rink Staples now uses in Stamford than the drive to the ice rink in Shelton that Staples used with Trumbull last year.
While Staples benefits in travel time, the team so far, has no benefitted as far as increasing their number of wins. After co-oping with Stamford and Westhill, the team is just 2-5.
Jessie Lepisto ‘13 admitted that, “It is hard to play on a team that has kids from different schools because we have to get to know each other and how they play the game.” Lepisto also added that because her teammates live in different towns it can be hard to hangout with them.
But according to Gurahian, “So far everyone is blending well.”
The players have also had to cope with having four coaches: Amelia Cobb, Eli Williams, Phil Miolene, and Sarah Fullerton. While Cobb is from Staples, the other three coaches are from Stamford. Yet, according to players and coaches, this does not appear to be a problem.
“We have four good coaches that can give more individualized focus to the players (because of co-oping),” Miolene said, who also added that he does not believe there are any negatives with having coaches from multiple schools.
Gurahian also enjoys having four coaches. “The coaches from all the school blend really well,” Gurahian said. “They have roughly 90 years of experience combined.”
Despite any challenges co-oping may cause, Miolene wants the team to, “do better than last year, win some games, improve and be competitive.”