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Athletic teams selections explained

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Matt Schultz, Red Wing High School activities director, in response to public comment at the last School Board meeting in which two students and a parent expressed concern regarding roster cuts on the girls hockey team, explained the selection process to the board Monday.

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The athletic department has used a standard selection process detailed in the activities handbook, which is given to head coaches as well as being posted on the school’s website, Schultz said.

“What we encourage, if there’s going to be squad cuts, is that coaches communicate that well in advance,” Schultz said.

The majority of the handbook was developed in the 1990s by Jim Pohl and remains essentially the same, with small changes made in the language throughout the last 20 years. The handbook lists girls hockey as a 7-12-grade program.

The coaches are asked to put together a substantial tryout period, Schultz said.

“Every kid has to have to same opportunity to compete in those tryout periods,” he said. “We want the process to be as objective as possible.”

Realistically, Schultz said, with the goal of being competitive and the goal of being a good educational opportunity when the kids get to junior varsity and varsity activities it is more competitive.

“We push our coaches to be more competitive and we expect coaches to win games,” he said. “That’s part of this.”

Much of it comes down to making sure the kids are put in a position to be successful in many ways, he said.

The highest number of seventh- and eighth-grade girls who participated in girls hockey was the 2009-10 season, the first year the junior varsity program was listed. There were nine eighth-graders and two seventh-graders.

Schultz said all the girls who were cut from the team recently were offered an opportunity to be a part of the program. One girl took a position as manager of the JV team and another is coaching youth hockey.

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