Williston State College Tetons to add hockey program
by Roxane Molinari
Posted on 4/14/2011
Williston State College announced the addition of a hockey program to WSC Athletics. The Tetons will compete at the NJCAA level. The school is targeting the Tetons to play in the 2011-2012 season.
"The time frame is an aggressive one," stated Athletic Director, Hunter Berg. " Priority one is hiring a coach and to begin recruiting. We are actively searching for a coach who can continue the energy and excitement that the possibility of WSC college hockey has generated in our college and community. We are already seeing much interest in the position and applications are coming in."
Review of applications for the coaching position will begin on April 15th and will continue until the position is filled. Berg anticipates having 25-30 players on the roster for the coming season which runs from October 2011 through February 2012. While Berg expects the season to move forward this fall, he stressed that if all is not in order meeting their standards, play will be delayed until Fall 2012 to ensure a successful season. "We will move quickly with recruiting beginning immediately. We have already heard from players interested in the program and encourage others to contact us so that we have a recruiting leads when the head coach is hired."
WSC President Ray Nadolny emphasized that quality of life issues in the Williston community are an integral facet of any plans for the college and a hockey program has been a key objective. "We will grow an already very strong Teton athletic program with the addition of hockey," he added. The 28 game schedule would include approximately 14 home games.
Berg is currently working on putting together a schedule. The eight junior college teams currently in the United States are from the East coast with the exception of Bottineau, ND. This geographical make-up of the junior college teams limits the number of opportunities for junior college competition during the regular season. To fill a schedule, games will also include club and junior teams in the area. Teton hockey players intend to face off against teams from Minot State, NDSU, Crookston and Briercrest, as well as Junior B Colleges from the Canadian Prairie Junior Hockey League, and NORPAC Junior Hockey League which includes programs from Billings, Bozeman, Helena, and Cody, Wyoming.
"Adding new sports has been an ongoing discussion for the past three years. In our analysis, we felt hockey would be a great addition to our Athletic Department. We look forward to a productive spring and summer of preparation for the exciting beginning of Teton Hockey," Berg added.
The hockey program joins established and successful WSC programs in baseball, men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball.