Some youth teams prosper; other feel the pinch

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 28, 2013 - 6:58 AM

Fundraising is important in youth hockey, but it’s seldom a level skating surface between rich and poor communities.

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logician88May. 27, 1310:06 PM

Lakeville has nice arenas, but the High School program isn't as strong as this story makes it sound. The reason one of their schools always makes the state tournament is that they are in the section with all the southern Minnesota schools. They usually finish in the middle or the bottom of their conference, and often get to the state tournament with a record that is barely over .500.

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proute507May. 27, 1310:36 PM

I would love to see a Part 4 to this series-- 'The decline of Minneapolis hockey'. In a city that has over a quarter million people......in the State of Hockey,... ONE high school team laces up the skates. I always scratch my head thinking about that statistic.

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Marykate1May. 27, 1310:41 PM

Life has never been a "level playing field!" Just ask the "Miracle on Ice" hockey team!

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sarahanneMay. 27, 1311:03 PM

Rarely does the Star-Tribune cover an issue as thoroughly as they this did on this one. And it is a sad state for this newspaper that this is the issue they spent so much time on. By the way I only read part 1.

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jimiekMay. 28, 1312:14 AM

The Strib did a good job on this important subject, but I think they missed a key issue. What happened was, that there were good youth hockey programs in the city and poorer districts. But, any kid with talent wound up getting a scholarship to a school like Blake, Hill Murray, Breck, ECT. So, by the time many of these kids reached high school they were gone from the program that developed them. I saw it happen over and over at Minneapolis Southwest. Open enrollment also hurt the smaller schools. Does St Thomas have a youth program…I don’t think so, nor do any of the private schools they just take kinds away from other programs. I think it stinks. Shifting demographic was also a major factor

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minneg56May. 28, 13 7:03 AM

jimiek- I can understand the emotion behind your points but feel a few items need clarification. I was a 12 year board member of a local youth hockey association. The following should be clarified. 1. Youth hockey associations are private, charitble organizations. They are NOT attached to the local high school, district or school system in any way. They do not depend in any way on tax dollars. 2. I've generated and created by-laws and reviewed a number of association by-laws many times state wide- if for no other reason to see if our association could improve on ours (at that time). I never saw even one set of youth hockey association by-laws state their purpose in whole or in any part to be a feeder system for the local high school. 3. As long as a skater's family pays their ice bill and participates for their share of volunteer hours - there is NO obligation the skater's family has beyond. It doesn't hinge on where they might or might not gattend high school. 4. Places like STA, Benilde, Blake, Breck etal start at 7th grade at the latest. Blake and Breck actually start at Kindergarten. I've yet to see these schools take on any varsity level athletes who haven't attended their schools since 7th grade. Nobody can ever seem to actually NAME any 'established' upper classmen who have been accepted to these schools for academics, let alone play any sports at the varsity level. These schools typically don't take on upper classmen for ANY reason. The kids who attend these schools are typically either a 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation to attend this type of school and wouldn't likely attend the local public high school anyway! You ask - does STA have a youth program. Nope and neither does Southwest High School or any other high school. You specifically mention Southwest High School and Southwest hockey. The youth program now covering that area is he Mpls Storm - not the Lakers (the Southwest High School logo/mascot. As i understanf that progam also attracts from St. Louis Park. So, whose program is that?

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lrnmthMay. 28, 13 7:05 AM

Three days of feature articles and one thing is clear. Life isn't fair. Some school districts have more wealth than others. Some sports booster clubs are able to raise more money than others. I'm not seeing many posts about what's best for kids. What do psychologists say about child development? Is there anything we can/should be doing to address the inequities in support for athletics?

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select1wMay. 28, 13 8:04 AM

to minneg56...you must be kidding about your claim of kids attending Blake and Breck etc at a young age before attending their high schools. I coached for years in the Hopkins hockey program and saw the likes of Jack Hillen and Blake Wheeler come up through our system and then choose to attend Holy Angels(Hillen) and Breck(Wheeler). I have no problem with either kid's choice...they chose to attend a private school as was their right. All this crying over disparity is nothing more than reflection on life. The kids that get better work hard at getting better..it's a lesson in life. I'm wondering will there be a follow study on feeder basketball programs? I suspect some of the hockey power private schools wouldn't hold a candle to some of the public schools. Yet I don't hear the complaining I here about hockey. Wonder why?

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vonnegut5May. 28, 13 8:08 AM

Life isn't fair. Should they all be dropped off at hockey practice in a newer SUV? Sleep on the same thread count sheets? No, life isn't fair, but if all that is left to discuss is the hockey funding disparity, then I call it a success as a society to have succeeded in in providing the basics. When the kid comes to door selling their cardboard tasting pizzas, I'll buy one, but I'm thinking if your parents can't afford hockey for you, that's too bad. Providing a safe bed, food and love is what is necessary, the rest is motivation to be able to provide more for your future kids. No, I couldn't care less about the hockey funding disparity. If you do, then donate to the hockey program of your choice. It isn't a societal issue. It's your issue. Deal with it.

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BBurtonMay. 28, 13 8:30 AM

I find it ironic that someone who coached hockey in Hopkins would mention kids who left Hopkins to play elsewhere, when Hopkins basketball is well known for its non-local players. I also find it ironic that this series and most of the posters appear to focus on the Metro. You're not finding many sympathizers on either side here in Northern Minnesota.

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