Will Pine City-Rush City Hockey Combine With Mora-Hinckley Finlayson Hockey?

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 at 5:06 am

High School Hockey season has wrapped up but hockey talk is still peculating in a few local area school districts.

On Thursday, during the Pioneer Report with Mike Gainor we discussed developments at the recent Pine City School Board meeting that could result in the merge of the Pine City / Rush City Dragons boys hockey team into one squad with the current Mora / Hicnkley-Finlayson Mustangs.

Yes, right now talks are underway that could result in a larger co-op between boys hockey teams at all four schools.

Our Jesse Logan visited with Mora-Hinckley Finlayson boys coach Charlie Whitbred on Thursday, he said there were good reasons to strongly consider the change. Whitbred said if the four schools ended up in a co-op, they would have to move up to class AA, but that didn’t seem like much of an issue. He said he’s basically waiting to hear what decisions are made indivually by both Pine City and Rush City, but Whitbred said the change could be in effect as quickly as next season, but nothing is for sure yet.


  1. PC hockey 03/23/12 at 7:28pm

    What a huge mistake it would be to combine programs! They need us more than we need them. Our numbers will be down for the next year or 2 but there is no reason to combine at this time. The damage that would be done to the loyal dragon community would not worth it. Let the school board know that we are DRAGONS!

  2. D.smith 03/24/12 at 10:18am

    This would NOT be a mistake! People need to set aside their pride and do what is best for the programs and the kids that particapate. A co-op between these schools would let the players particapate at the level they should be playing at instead of being moved up just to fill a roster. This is an opportunity that may not come along again, and one that should be tried. If it does not work out or if the schools find out they have enough of their own kids to fill rosters the co-op can always be disolved. An important thing is to give the kids the chance to compete at a level where they will feel good about it. If you have paid attention to the State Tournaments the schools that make it that far are either a private school or a school that is in a co-op. This is a good opportunity and one that should be tried.
    The money to the Arena would take care of itself also, because if you look at how many people attend the games now to how many could possibly attend in a co-op it would be the same income. Half as many games but twice the amount of gate would = the same gate.
    Also “if” this co-op became successful the communities would support it very strongly and I believe the Arenas’ would be full of hockey fans. Lets’ get this done…it’s a good thing.

  3. D.smith 03/24/12 at 10:59am

    I’m sorry that I left out a very important aspect of this co-op. Staying in class A is the only way this should get done. To move up to AA would result in the same type of seasons we have been accustomed to. When you play sections you would be up against Elk River, Duluth East, Andover, Forest Lake etc… If this is to get done it needs to be figured out to stay in class A.

  4. Staying Loyal to our friends 03/25/12 at 4:55am

    I’m sorry……. We have built a hocky family with our friends from Rush City. If we co-op with Mora, our friends from Rush will leave and become part of another co-op with North Branch….. My son has been in the hockey Association for 5 years now. At least 5 of his teammates over that course of time have come from Rush City. They have developed a chemistry that will be taken away for good. We parents have also developed friendships that would be lost. I’m not sure that the kids or adults are willing to start all over again at building that same type of chemistry. We are NOT a Class 2A school. Hopefully the school board will realize this would not be a wise move

  5. Hockeymom 03/25/12 at 6:40pm

    Theres no way of avoiding the AA A thing unless you kick out one of the chools. Defeats the purpose.
    If your kid loves to play hockey he will play with anyone, my kids have played on many teams here, and in the cities. It’s a great way to learn to play with different styles and become a better skater.
    It’s the parents and fans who can’t handle this. The thing to really consider is the kids in the current situation and handle it for whats best for them. Co-ops are 2 years deals and you can get out of them after the first year if it isn’t working. Co-oping is the solution to make it the fairest for both schools. But, you need to designate a host school.
    So here’s my answer:

    Mora needs us more then we need them, right? Then you come join our team, at our rink, and wear our colors!

  6. PC hockey 03/26/12 at 12:33pm

    To clarify the merger would not exclude Rush City players. The idea of a host rink would the only way I would see this working. See how much they really want to skate with us.

  7. Hockey Mom 03/27/12 at 7:54am

    If C Whitbred is the coach, this team will never win anyway. He is a very poor, unfair coach and only cares about his favorites. Pine City if you are smart, you will run from him. If this merger happen, you need to get a really good coach not the reject Mora coach; not even his player’s can stand him.

  8. Mike Ryan 03/27/12 at 2:04pm

    One of the selling points behind the merger is “we can’t have 9th graders on the JV” therefore we don’t have the numbers necessary to field both JV and Varsity. Every year I watch the HS tourney and all the participating teams have a host of 9th graders playing on their Varsity teams, but we can’t have 9th graders on the JV. It doesn’t add up! If a 9th grader can’t play on the JV can a 10th grader play on the Varsity? Our numbers are down for a variety of reasons. Many kids quite, siting displeasure with coaching. Maybe we should address our numbers shortfall differently.

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