Pleasanton Weekly

Sports - February 28, 2014

Crosstown rivalry takes to the ice

High school hockey spreads throughout Tri-Valley

by Tom Powers

There was a standing room only crowd at Dublin Iceland on Feb. 8 as several hundred students and parents from Foothill and Amador Valley high schools packed the building for some Saturday night ice hockey.

For the very first time, the Amador-Foothill rivalry took to the ice, with a team comprised entirely of Amador students battling a team from Foothill. Despite what turned out to be a one-sided victory for the team in purple, it was a special evening for everyone involved. Amador won 10-0.

Hockey players have a passion for the game they love, and since practices and games all take place outside of Pleasanton, many of these players' friends and classmates have never been able to see them play. To be on the ice and look up at a packed house of friends and classmates wearing school colors and chanting, "We are A.V." or "We are Foothill" was an incredible experience for these teens, not to mention a fun Saturday night for the fans.

The two squads were formed through the Tri-Valley Minor Hockey Association's Pure High School division, where teams made up of kids who all attend the same high school compete in a 10-game season and playoffs to win the Tri-Valley Cup, which has been awarded for the last few years.

The players are all registered with USA Hockey. Aside from the two Pleasanton schools, there were also teams from Cal High, Dublin High, Monte Vista, San Ramon Valley, Dougherty Valley and De La Salle. This year's championship game, between Cal High and Dublin, will be held in Dublin today at 10:15 p.m.

While hockey is not an official high school sport here in Pleasanton, the game is getting more and more support throughout the Bay Area and the state. De La Salle became the first team in the East Bay to formally recognize its hockey team, as have several schools in the South Bay and Southern California.

On-campus hockey clubs have been formed in the past few years at several Tri-Valley schools, including Cal High, Dublin High and Monte Vista. The clubs give students who have an interest in hockey a venue to share their interest while also performing philanthropic and fundraising activities for their campus and community.

Both Amador and Foothill have recently formed hockey clubs that hope will grow along the same path as these other schools. Information about these clubs is available through both schools' activities offices and websites.

It may still take some time before the Amador-Foothill hockey game is as big a public event as football, basketball or any other sport, but based on the size and enthusiasm of the fans Feb. 8, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

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