Two girls’ hockey teams unite

Park and Hopkins join in a co-op


Abby Bartleson

Sophomore Rowan Jansen and senior Sofia Hoffman skate towards the puck Jan. 16. Park lost 4-5 against Anoka during overtime.

The Park girls’ hockey team is co-opted with Hopkins. Due to a lack of players, both schools united to create a single competitive girls’ hockey team between the two schools where they can focus on their skills. Ryan St. Martin, the coach of the co-op team, said coaching the two schools helps build community.

“I think numbers are certainly first and foremost,” St. Martin said. “It’s also nice to just build some camaraderie with some like-minded communities and expand the network of all these kids.” 

Junior Camryn Witham said she enjoys getting to know more people on the team through the co-op with Hopkins.

“I’m meeting new people, I know so much more, like double the amount of people I would have known, so it’s great to really meet new people,” Witham said.

On a negative side of the co-op, sophomore Rowan Jansen said it’s harder to make connections with teammates because they don’t go to the same school. 

“I think that maybe if we had classes together in school and went to school together, that we’d be able to make those connections on and off,” Jansen said. 

According to St. Martin, there have been a variety of challenges that he faces while coaching this team. He said he has been working on being considerate to the schools’ different arrangements.

“(It’s) challenging sometimes being mindful of different school schedules and transportation,” St. Martin said. “But overall, it works out really nice.”

According to Witham, she values the time spent with her teammates since a positive team dynamic is crucial.

“We play good, I appreciate (it) when we’re in the locker room hyping each other up,” Witham said. “Knowing each other helps a lot when we are out there.”

Jansen said the bond the players have on the ice is good considering the little time they spend together.

“We don’t get to spend as much time together off the ice so we don’t make as many great connections like that,” Jansen said. “But our connection on the ice is still great.”

The next girls hockey game is against princeton at the minnetonka arena on Jan. 26