New Centaurus Hockey Team Will Call the Y Home

Oct 18, 2018, 17:02 PM by Andra Coberly

Chance Creger began the year with a list of goals. The list started with developing a new youth rec hockey club at the YMCA of Boulder Valley, and it ended with securing a high school hockey team at the Y’s ice rink for the 2018-19 season.

Over the past 10 months, Chance, YMCA Youth Hockey Program Director, and Greg Rowe, the Y’s Senior Program Director of Ice, as well as YMCA administrators have worked diligently to make those goals into realities.

First, Hockey Club Lafayette kicked off its first rec hockey season. And then Boulder Valley School District announced the development of a new hockey team. The new Centaurus High School Hockey Team will practice and play home games at the YMCA of Boulder Valley’s Carlston Ice Arena.

Players play hockey at the YMCA

The program will begin as a JV team for the upcoming 2018-19 season. It will eventually develop into a varsity team by the start of the 2020-21 season. The Centaurus team will be the district’s second team, the first being the highly successful Monarch High School Hockey Team.

“Monarch had five consecutive years of playing in state championship games, winning their first title in 2017,” Chance says. “We are hoping to build off that success and be able to service another 20-30 players that need a home at the 18U level.”

For local players, it means more opportunities to play longer.

“Players at the Tier 2 level are being faced with a tough decision after their 16U year. They don’t have a place to play,” Chance says. “A lot of them are quitting hockey, so this is an awesome opportunity to keep the kids in the game for a couple more years.”

And it means young hockey players never have to leave the Y — starting in Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs. 

It was big for us to create a pathway for kids to start and then play all the way through high school in the same building,” Greg says.

The new program is just one more way the Y is changing perceptions about its hockey offerings.

“It's gonna change the way the Y is looked at,” Greg says. “We’ve discussed this often. There is a stigma out there that if you play hockey at the Y, you are not a good hockey player. Well that’s not true. Last year, with the two state championships and two league championships coming out of this building and now getting this CHSAA team, we are showing that the YMCA can be a powerhouse in hockey.”

female plays goalie during a hockey game

Chance and Greg are out to squash those negative perceptions by balancing the Y’s family friendly atmosphere and values-focused sports philosophy with impressive coaches and competitive aspects. It’s all to ensure kids are growing as players. 

“We are now able to offer the second highest level of 18U hockey in Colorado,” Chance says. “Tier 1 hockey is unrealistic financially for a lot of families. This high school team is an awesome, affordable option to keep kids in hockey.”

Y staffers are thrilled for the November high school hockey season to start and for the new vibe it will bring to the Arapahoe Y. They hope for a “Friday Night Lights” atmosphere for home games, including inviting young hockey players to come watch games and get excited for their own futures on the ice. 

Those home games also mean something special for the players.

“A big thing for high school kids is to play in front of their peers,” Chance says. “No one is coming to watch their friends play club hockey. We won’t get a lot of fans for the Locomotive, so it’s really exciting when these kids get to invite their friends to come watch a game at the Y.”

More details will be announced in the weeks to come, including coaches, tryout information and schedules.

“To see it all come to fruition is awesome, especially knowing we are a month away from it happening,” Greg says. “It’s a great feeling.”

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