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She-Wolves expanding offerings, looking for a few players

WOMEN INTERESTED in playing hockey this winter are encouraged to check in with the Wolfeboro She-Wolves. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
August 23, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Women in the Wolfeboro area who are interested in playing a little hockey will have a few more options this coming hockey season.

The Wolfeboro She-Wolves are looking to expand the women's hockey program to include a house league that plays regular games at the Pop Whalen Arena.

For the last few years, the She-Wolves have been playing scrimmages and games against teams from other towns on a regular basis, but according to President Val Murray and Vice President Mary Ann Murray, there will be a women's league beginning in October, but they would like to have more players to make the league more competitive.

The She-Wolves typically play games every weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. About 20 players come to play and the goal is to double that number. "We want to double that," Mary Ann Murray said. "Ideally it would be at least 50 players."

There are approximately 30 players on the She-Wolves roster each season and those players play on the two travel teams that play games against teams from all around the region and also play in the annual tournament every March. However, not all the players come to all the scrimmages, meaning that about 20 players show up on a typical Friday night for scrimmages.

The idea of the women's league will be to divide the players up into four teams (if enough players sign up) with a more structured program, including team captains and a regular schedule of games.

"If we don't get enough players for four teams we'll still do it with just two or three teams," Val Murray said.

"But ideally, it would be nice to have four teams," Mary Ann Murray said.

Both ladies noted that the new league would offer the chance for hockey players to play against and with people of varying abilities each and every week, with stats, officials, scorekeeping and the like.

A skills assessment will be held at the start of the season and the teams will be divided up equally, with no team stacked with the best players, giving every team an equal shot and a wide range of skills on each squad.

The She-Wolves will continue to offer skills training every other Sunday, where players can come and work on different aspects of their game that they think need improvement. The opposite Sundays will be practice days for the teams.

The She-Wolves are open to players of all skill levels, from beginners to experts and the group is a welcoming club to all players.

"Everyone is welcome to try it," said Mary Ann Murray, who at 60 is not the oldest player on the She-Wolves roster. "If they're struggling, they can come to the skills sessions."

And a pre-existing knowledge of hockey isn't necessarily a requirement either.

"You don't really have to know how to play hockey to come," Val Murray said. "I had no idea about it when I started."

But those who do come will find a welcoming experience and the chance to get great exercise on a regular basis.

"It's so much fun and great exercise," Val Murray continued. "It really is a blast."

"It's a lot of fun just to get together every Friday night," Mary Ann Murray added.

The group is opening up its ranks to high school age girls who would like to give hockey a shot. Currently a couple of high school girls play with the She-Wolves and the group gets individual waivers from USA Hockey to allow them to play. However, if enough younger players register to play, the She-Wolves will get a group waiver to allow the kids to play.

Anyone interested in joining the She-Wolves house league for this winter season is encouraged to e-mail Val Murray at shewolves71@yahoo.com. Or, interested women can check out the group's Facebook site at www.facebook.com/WolfeboroSheWolves for more information. Signups will likely begin in early September.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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