East Side back in the game?

July 18, 2007 on 6:45 pm | In breaking news | Comments Off on East Side back in the game?

Keith Veltre contacted me today and let me know that East Side does intend to field a varsity ice hockey team in 2007-08 after not playing on the varsity level in 2006-07. Veltre has been the East Side coach for several years and has tried to build the program’s numbers through youth hockey. After merely practicing last year, Veltre said he expects the Red Raiders to play 10-15 games this year as an independent.

East Side was 3-13-1 while playing in the Northern Blue Division in 2005-06, beating Hackensack twice and St. Rose. Before that, the Red Raiders were 2-14-2 in 2004-05, 0-12 in 2003-04, 1-12 in 2002-03 and 2-10-2 in 2001-02. That’s as far back as my records go.

While never an on-ice power, you have to love East Side coming back. One of my great regrets on the hockey scene is that I have never been to Ironbound Rink or seen East Side play. I doubt I’ll get to break that streak in the short time I’m home this winter, but you never know. Besides, maybe they’ll play at The Rock.

Assuming Wallkill Valley and Monroe do compete on the varsity level this year (still unconfirmed), that makes 99 public schools. It also means Nutley is the school on the bubble between Division I and Division II if the public state tournament split is confirmed.

In other news that is completely unrelated to high school hockey, I’ve been promoted to sports editor at my newspaper group, which is a nice bump in responsibility (and, not that it’s saying much, salary).

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