ASD cuts girls' hockey



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The Anchorage School District announced Wednesday, April 24 that it is discontinuing girls' hockey after a 10-year run. ASD said there wasn't enough interest in the program for it to continue.

STAR FILE PHOTO/Matt Tunseth

The Anchorage School District announced Wednesday, April 24 that it is cutting the girls hockey program effective next season.

In a press release issued Wednesday morning ASD cited low participation for the decision.

"This change is not easy," said Superintendent Ed Graff. "The female athletes, coaches and parents who have participated in girls' hockey during the last decade have committed time, energy and dedication to the program but it simply has not grown like we hoped or anticipated."

The district has operated the program under a waiver from the Alaska School Activities Association for 10 years. The waiver has been necessry because students from ASD's eight public high schools were combined to form just four teams. Chugiak and Eagle River played as one team, as did Dimond-West, South-Bartlett and Service-East.

The intent of the program was to eventually have each school field its own team, but that hasn't happened.

The loss of the four Anchorage teams deals a severe blow to girls' high school hockey in Alaska, which will now have just two high school girls' programs — based in Fairbanks and Mat-Su — statewide.

In the same press release, the district also announced it would offer interscholastic basketball at the middle school level starting in the 2013-14 school year.

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