SPOONER, WI -- The Spooner Area Youth Hockey Association (SAYHA) has a team going to youth state competition for the first time in 5 years!
Over the last 9 years, SAYHA had switched from the Wisconsin Ametuer Hockey Association's (WAHA) age classification to a by grade system. SAYHA President, Carrie Romsos, says this change was done for two reasons. First, to align with Minnesota teams that use two grade levels to make up each team. Because Spooner is just as close to Minnesota as to some portions of Wisconsin, Spooner does play Minnesota teams. Secondly, using grade classifications, kids were not split up by birth year within grades and therefore played with their school grade friends and this may have been a factor in increasing growth of SAYHA.
SAYHA, along with other Wisconsin youth associations such as Superior, have petitioned WAHA to change from birth year teams to grade-level teams. WAHA has remained with USA Hockey's recommendation of birth year teams after discussion on the state level. Therefore, last summer before the current season began SAYHA's Development Committee looked at growth, development, and opportunities for their skaters. It was decided by SAYHA's Development Committee and the SAYHA Board of Directors to change the Squirt (birth year 2011 and 2012) and Peewee (birth year 2009 and 2010) to WAHA and USA Hockey birth year team classifications.
Once the Squirt and Peewee teams lined up with birth year classification, the teams were able to decide if they wanted to participate in state competition and the Spooner Civic Center was able to once again host a playdown.
The Peewee team decided to participate in state regional playdowns and lost in a hard-fought battle with Burnett on February 5th, 2022. The final score was Spooner 2 and Burnett 4. Spooner Peewees wish Burnett the best at State which will take place in Altoona in March.
The Squirt team also decided that they would like to participate in regional playdowns. On February 5th, 2022 at the Spooner Civic Center the SAYHA squirts beat River Valley 10-1 and then Barron 7-1 to advance to state competition in West Salem, Wisconsin March 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2022.
Below is a composite of the SAHYA Squirt team's goal-setting session that they had at the beginning of their season and that is hanging in the rink. Some of their goals were, "Win State", "Be Really Fast", "Give 100% Effort", "Have Fun" and "Get Better". As you can see, many kids stated that their goal was to get to state and win state. To this 10 and under age group this opportunity is like the Stanley Cup.
Be watching DrydenWire.com for updates to follow the Spooner Squirts state competition.