Weekly Feature

2018-07-12 / Front Page

Boys hockey team advocates hope coaching staff remains intact


Current and former players on the Orchard Park boys hockey team, along with parents and team supporters, let the Board of Education know during Tuesday’s meeting they would like to see the hockey staff remain the same going into next season.

Aiden Jones, a junior in the fall and a member of the school’s hockey teams for the past four years, spoke on the issue.

“We’re concerned that our assistant coach has not been appointed at this time,” Jones said.

Jones added that the board has heard from around 90 percent of the returning team and alumni, hoping that the coaching staff will stay in place.

Liam McGowan, a 2018 graduate and member of the team for six years, also feels a change shouldn’t be made.

“I would hate to see the future players of OP miss out on the same experiences that this coaching staff has provided me,” McGowan said. “It would be completely disappointing to see any changes made in any of these coaching staffs, especially with the success they have achieved.”

Last season, the team went 8-9-3 and lost in the Federation Large School semifinals to Niagara-Wheatfield.

Jimmy Doran, also a 2018 graduate and captain of last year’s team, feels tinkering with the coaching staff could disrupt the run of success the team has had.

“If you remove any parts of our dedicated coaching staff, all the years of building up the program would be wasted,” Doran. “I am the oldest of four boys which have the hockey gene. I would love to come and see my brothers play with my former coaches and have the same experience I did.”

Tracy McGowan, a parent who has been involved with Orchard Park boys hockey for the past six years, stressed that the staff should stay together.

“The coaches that I have worked side by side with are the reason I’ve enjoyed being hands on with all the hockey teams,” Mc- Gowan said. “They are the reason that so many kids are able to play the game in high school. They are the reason many kids do not leave the Orchard Park School District to attend private schools. They are the reason we have amazing friendships and memories. They are the reason they play.”

Superintendent Matthew McGarrity said the position, along with other positions, has yet to be filled. He added that district officials are currently going through the process of filling the positions. The superintendent said this position and others should be filled at the Board of Education’s next meeting.

The next meeting of the board will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, in the District Office, 2240 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca.

email: cgraham@beenews.com

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