The season of the Skyview High School hockey team has been put on hold due to the limited number of eligible players on the squad.
Skyview head coach Pete Iverson said 17 players went out for the team, but 10 were ineligible on an Oct. 21 grade check.
With only seven eligible skaters, Skyview principal Randy Neill made the decision not to hold any Skyview varsity hockey games until there were more eligible skaters.
“I don’t feel like we have enough players to safely play,” Neill said.
The next grade check is Nov. 18. Neill said he is confident that Skyview will be able to field a team at that time.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Neill said. “We’re meeting with students weekly, giving grade checks and asking teachers to send us any indication kids are falling behind in classes.
“Parents and coaches are working together to try to salvage the hockey season for Skyview.”
In a worst-case scenario, Skyview would still not have enough eligible players on Nov. 18. If the season were to be canceled, Neill said players could transfer to another school as long as the principals of both schools gave their consent.
Earlier this week, Neill attended a parents and coaches meeting. He said the parents voted unanimously to give the players until Nov. 18 to try and make the grade rather than scrapping the season right now.
Before Nov. 18, Skyview is supposed to play North Star Conference games against Soldotna and Kenai Central, as well as nonconference game against Nikiski. Skyview has missed a conference game against Wasilla and a nonconference game against Houston. The Panthers also could not play in the Peninsula Ice Challenge this weekend at the Sports Center. Homer took Skyview’s place.
Neill said Skyview would put a priority on rescheduling conference games.
In the meantime, Skyview will set up scrimmages in order to try and get the eligible kids some game experience.
Neill said the academic requirements for students to participate in sports have increased this year. Under the new Alaska School Activities Association rule, students need a 2.0 grade-point average. Under the old Kenai Peninsula School Activities Association standard, students could not have an F.
Neill said some of the ineligible hockey player did not have an F but also did not have a 2.0 average. He said students were made aware of the new requirements heading into this school year.
“The bottom line is it’s the kids not being eligible and staying up with grades,” Neill said. “We should have plenty of players. They didn’t make grade check.”
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