Castle View overcomes adversity to take the ice
CASTLE ROCK – The story of Castle View’s hockey team sounds a bit like the plot to an underdog sports movie. A ragtag group of hockey players representing Castle Rock and Parker have to overcome overwhelming odds to compete in the sport they love. It makes you want to buy a movie ticket.
Well, the true story is unfolding this season.
In the fall, Castle View was chosen as the second school in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) to host an officially sanctioned Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) hockey team.
A group of parents and students successfully petitioned the league to add a second team, after showing there was enough interest in Douglas County. Up to this point, all DCSD students competed for Mountain Vista High School.
“Mountain Vista had the run of the entire district,” explained Castle View Head Coach Al Quintana. “They decided that maybe it was time to have a second school, so CHSAA split the district into two areas.”
Students from Highlands Ranch will still play for the Golden Eagles, but now those from schools in Castle Rock and Parker will play for Castle View.
Many players welcomed the news, including Castle View senior and team captain Hayden Wuthrich.
“I thought that would be cool to be on a first year team and really see how far we could go. I think we’ve really been doing quite well, when considering that we are a first year team,” Wuthrich said.
The biggest issue has been ice time. With only a handful of ice rinks in the south metro area, Quintana had to try to scrape together enough time for at least a practice a week and games.
“There wasn’t much that we could get, because there wasn’t much available at a decent time. I didn’t want high school kids traveling at midnight,” Quintana said.
In the end, the only location that could meet their needs was thirty minutes south on I-25, at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument.
“The fact that we have to practice in Monument has been difficult,” Castle View senior and team captain Hayden Wuthrich. “Our coach was good enough to set up a team bus to every practice, because a lot of kids didn’t want to drive that far over Monument Hill. That’s not the best road, especially in winter conditions.”
Quintana says the bus helped alleviate the same, understandable, concerns from parents.
“If my son was playing hockey, I wouldn’t want him driving up and down monument hill at all hours of the night and all types of weather,” Quintana said.
While having to ride a bus to every practice is a hassle, Wuthrich says the players can see the upside.
“It definitely helps with the camaraderie,” explained Wuthrich. “It brings the guys together. We’re all on the bus together. Instead of riding, we are all together as a team. It is like taking a road trip every single time you go to a practice or a game.”
Of course they would love more people to make their home games, which are also held in Monument.
“We need as many fans as we can get,” Wuthrich said. It helps your mentality on the ice, when you know you have a bunch of fans in the stands. It really helps you get really excited for the game.”
The team, which is competing against teams up and down the Front Range from Boulder to Colorado Springs, is young, but Coach Quintana sees great potential.
“The team is extremely young. I only have six upper classmen and the rest are freshmen and sophomores,” Quintana said, who sees potential. “Those freshmen and sophomores are pretty good now, but I expect them to develop.”
“We don’t have the best record this year, but overtime we are going to get better and better,” Wuthrich said. “We are underclassman heavy. Over the next couple years we are going to be very, very competitive.”
We won’t, however, rule out a storybook ending.
Come and cheer on the Sabercats, their schedule and additional photos are available on the MaxPreps website.
“It is worth the trip because the games are fun to watch. They’re pretty high scoring,” Wuthrich added.
The District, however, has no favorites. We encourage folks to check out the Golden Eagles too. Go to their MaxPreps website for the Mountain Vista schedule.