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Editorial: Don't drop puck on girls hockey

The Worthington High School girls hockey program could become a thing of the past by the upcoming 2013-2014 season, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard explained during the June 18 school board meeting that the girls varsity team probably won't have enough players to field a team this coming winter. One solution suggested is a potential co-op with Windom, but Landgaard added that there has been some resistance to this.

"I met with Windom and we had both hockey associations represented and both school districts," Landgaard said during the June 18 meeting. "Basically what it amounts to is the hockey association itself said they aren't in favor of moving forward with this. ... The bottom line, because the hockey association is in such opposition to any potential collaboration, I left it to them to get me numbers so we can decide."

It doesn't seem difficult to understand the reasons for not wanting a co-opted team. It's possible, for instance, that someone getting a lot of playing time now may see less under a combined squad. Also, such a scenario would likely result in increased travel time for players and their families. And, yet another thought: how often do schools combine to form a co-op team, and then split apart to resume their former, singular identities? Quite rarely.

However, we think the most important perspective to see this matter from is this: District 518 -- all districts -- should try to give as many opportunities as possible to students. A girls hockey co-op with Windom maintains that particular opportunity for those who wish to take advantage of it. Unless the numbers Landgaard wants to see show differently, it seems ironic that the local hockey association would end up interfering with District 518 girls' chances to play that very sport.