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Community steps forward to outsource girls' high school hockey

The Scotty Gomez Foundation Hockey Association has entered into an agreement with the Anchorage School District to offer girls' hockey as an outsourced high school varsity sports program for the current school year.

"We're excited to offer this opportunity to girls in our community. These student athletes will have the chance to represent their respective schools on the ice, in the school hallways, on pages in the yearbook and throughout our town," said Carlos Gomez, president of the Scotty Gomez Foundation Hockey Association. "We've worked closely with the school district in this process and are appreciative of the district's support as we work to build girls' hockey in the community."

The Gomez Association will work with the Alaska State Hockey Association and USA Hockey to offer the program. The sport will follow the same guidelines as other high school sports, which are outlined by the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA).

"The Alaska State Hockey Association is grateful to the school district and the Gomez Association for reaching this agreement to provide a continued varsity high school hockey experience for our girls," said Darryl Thompson, president of the Alaska State Hockey Association.

The program will exist as an outsourced sport, with the Gomez Association assuming operation of the program. Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, the outsourcing agreement may be extending for up to three years. Future years of the program are contingent on success of the program. The Gomez Association is responsible for recruitment and promotion of the program.

"We are pleased these groups stepped forward to take the lead in offering this program as an outsourced sport. They've worked tirelessly over the summer to find ways to help this sport grow and continue for high school athletes. We appreciate the work of these community leaders to make this happen. We wish them well in building the success of the program," said Ed Graff, superintendent of the Anchorage School District.

ASAA has agreed to extend the co-op agreement so high schools will have the ability to combine teams if there are not enough athletes to field a full team.

"Now is the perfect opportunity for all of the supporters of girls' hockey, who are truly interested in the sport, to come together and get involved in the girls' high school program," said Gomez. "There was a real push to continue to provide this varsity sport for the girls, and we intend on making it an exciting and viable program but we still need everyone to get involved."

The Gomez Association plans to start the season as soon as practical and will keep the community informed over the next week regarding the details of the upcoming season.

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