Hockey's growth continues. Douglas County School District has announced its intention to add another hockey program beginning with the 2015-16 season.
It is the second new program in the span of two weeks. On Aug. 14, Poudre School District announced it would add a hockey team (along with girls lacrosse) in 2016-17.
The new program will be housed by Castle View, and give Douglas County Schools a second team. Mountain Vista already fields a program.
“We’ve had a lot of demand for it,” said Derek Chaney, the district athletic director of Douglas County School District. “It’s just a growing sport, at least in our area. We have a lot of good kids that get cut from the CHSAA team, and this creates another opportunity.”
The plan is to have Castle View serve Castle View, Douglas County, Chaparral, Legend and Ponderosa. Mountain Vista would be the team for students at Mountan Vista, ThunderRidge, Rock Canyon and Highlands Ranch.
Castle View will find ice time at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument as well as at the Edge Ice Arena in Littleton. Like Mountain Vista, it will be a self-funded program.
"We are extremely, extremely happy to know that Douglas County is growing their programs," said Bud Ozzello, CHSAA assistant commissioner in charge of hockey. "That they can expand to two teams, and remain extremely competitive, that just adds to the mix."
Both Castle View and the Poudre School District program — which hasn't yet picked a host school — need to go before the hockey committee at their meeting next March to officially apply for inclusion.
Mountain Vista went 19-2-0 last season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
"Participation-wise, you're going from 25 on a roster to 50 kids," Ozzello said. "You can't beat that."
The sport's growth doesn't look to be slowing anytime soon.
"That's now two new schools," Ozzello said. "And we have a couple others potentially coming outside of the Metro area."