St. Paul’s School is known for its numerous amounts of teams and clubs ranging from football to fly fishing. An uncommonly known club from the past was the St. Paul’s In-Line Hockey team, which was moderated by Mary Pierson and was disbanded in 2013. The main reason for the disappearance of the club was the lack of venues.
“Pre-Katrina, we had a pretty strong in-line hockey movement on this side of the lake,” ex-moderator Pierson said. “After Katrina hit, many of the rinks were destroyed, and when we started back up, the participation was low.”
Hockey is an amazing sport that originated from Canada and is now played around the world, including at the Winter Olympics where multiple nations pursue gold. Whether in ice or in-line form, hockey is an electrifying sport that demonstrates the sheer speed and power of players through checking–which is forcefully colliding with another player–and the technical skills of speed shots and deeking, which is juking with skates and a stick.
At one time, there were hockey teams in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which helped fuel the sport at the high school level. However, the closest team to Covington is currently the Louisiana IceGators in Lafayette, who are a Southern Professional farm team for the National Hockey League. The closest NHL team is the Dallas Stars. Hockey obviously isn’t the most popular sport in the south due to the lack of ice and local teams, but it’s slowly growing as a beloved sport nationwide.
It’s time for St. Paul’s to bring back the Hockey Club. St. Paul’s has so many choices of clubs and teams for students to pursue and find a love for, so why not add hockey back into that mix? Lacrosse, Rugby, and Quidditch are examples of lesser known and uncommon sports clubs for our area that gained popularity quickly. Although there is not currently a venue in Covington, there is a skating facility 22 miles away in Slidell known as Skater’s Paradise. This may be a bit of a drive for some students, but the struggle is worth it. The students of SPS deserve to witness the exciting sport of hockey once again.