Kearsarge girls enjoying first year on co-op hockey team

  • For the first time in school history, Kearsarge Regional High students are participating in NHIAA-sanctioned girls’ ice hockey. The school is now part of the Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge co-op team. The four Kearsarge students on this year’s team are (left to right) freshman Paige Hoegler, freshman Kate Cochran, junior Marissa Pickman and freshman Rainey Smith. Courtesy Kearsarge Regional School District

Monitor staff
Published: 2/6/2019 9:41:24 PM

In the spring, there was a call for girls’ ice hockey at Kearsarge High. By the winter, just a handful of months later, four Cougars were part of the Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge team.

“We are fortunate to have a supportive administration at the high school and SAU, as well as on the board level which afforded us the opportunity to explore this once an interest was brought to our attention,” Kearsarge athletic director Scott Fitzgerald said.

Lebanon was on its own until Stevens joined for the last two seasons, and now the team has two hyphens in the name.

“Lebanon and Stevens have been great partners to work with,” Fitzgerald said.

In the past, girls at Kearsarge who wanted to play ice hockey had to play on the boys’ team.

“I’m really glad the co-op worked out,” Kearsarge freshman Kate Cochran said. “I really appreciate how hard Mr. Fitzgerald worked to help make it happen. I was nervous about playing with boys, but I didn’t need to.”

Last year, the Lebanon-Stevens team finished the regular season 8-10 and made the playoffs as the No. 9 seed before losing to No. 8 Concord, 5-1. The team is on about the same pace this season with a 5-6 record. There have been some lopsided losses, but LSK has won three of its last four games.

“Although our team isn’t the best out there, I think our effort and attitudes really add up,” Cochran said. “All of my teammates are very encouraging and we all love the game. I’m very happy about the girls’ hockey program and I hope more girls start playing, too.”

The team practices at Campion Rink in West Lebanon. The commute up I-89 from North Sutton has been more than worth it for the Cougars.

“I was new to the team this year but also new to hockey in general,” Kearsarge freshman Rainey Smith said. “I’ve never played before and the girls on the team have been so nice and welcoming. I’m thankful to have such good coaches and an amazing team.”

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