Hockey Costs

School committee unanimously approves ski team cooperation

Sporting director Tom Gallagher seeks committee approval for ski team cooperation (via ICAM).

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IPSWICH — As summer approaches, a request for a winter sports team has made its way onto the school committee’s agenda.

“Tonight, I’m hoping to get the school committee’s blessing so we can take this [ski team co-op] front,” said sporting director Tom Gallagher.

And that’s exactly what he did – Gallagher’s proposal for a co-operative high school ski team with Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School won the unanimous approval of the Ipswich school board on Thursday.

Ipswich previously applied as a guest in a ski team co-op with Manchester-Essex High School several years ago, Gallagher said, but the North Shore Ski League rejected the expansion request.

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Gallagher said this co-op with Hamilton-Wenham would provide an opportunity for skiers at the school and there is already interest in the school community.

“I don’t know at the moment how many we have, but I know that over the years I’ve had several conversations with people asking if there would be any skiing opportunities or if we were going to add a team” , Gallagher said.

The Hamilton-Wenham School Board approved their ski team proposal on May 19.

After approval from Ipswich, schools will submit an application to the North Shore Ski League. If that request is approved, which Gallagher says is likely, he will meet with the Hamilton-Wenham sporting director and their administration to discuss logistics.

It would be Ipswich High School’s first ski team and current fifth winter team co-op, joining the boys’ ice hockey, girls’ ice hockey, wrestling and gymnastics co-ops.

The team’s home mountain would be Bradford in Haverhill. Gallagher said the bidding process is likely selective due to the limited amount of space at the mountain.

For the first year, Gallagher said participants will have to pay the full price, but Hamilton-Wenham is expected to pay for the team thereafter as part of its operating budget.

“In the meantime, we would be looking at fundraising opportunities and things like that to offset the costs for families and individuals who wanted to get involved,” Gallagher said.

One question that Gallagher says constantly arises is whether other sports teams will lose athletes to the ski team. The answer is unlikely because those students likely aren’t competing on other teams, but skiing with their families, Gallagher said.

“I anticipate it would affect a whole different group of students,” he said.