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Eau Claire Stars looking to bring in younger players

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Hockey season is approaching, and an Eau Claire all-girls youth team is looking to add to its rosters.

As indicated on their website, the Chippewa Valley Girls Hockey Association’s (CVGHA) original purpose was to advocate for a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) girls hockey team. With the assistance of CVGHA and the successful promotion of girls hockey within the community, the Eau Claire and Altoona school boards agreed upon a cooperative high school team, now known as the ECA Stars.

Emilee Fuller is a second-year player on the Eau Claire Stars.

She says hockey is the only sport for her.

“I tried a bunch of other sports, and I didn’t really enjoy them as much as I did hockey,” Emilee Fuller said.

Emilee’s mom says the Stars are more than a team.

“The best part of it is just the camaraderie between the girls,” said Sara Fuller, Emilee’s mom. “They have so much fun it’s ridiculous. Pregame in the locker room chanting, screaming, dancing, and then the weekends at hotels away at the pool just doing whatever in anybody’s room. Just having a blast.”

MaKayla Thiele enjoys interacting with the different age groups.

“I like being with the 12, 14u, 18u, and 10u, because the 8s and 10s you can teach them new things whereas the 12s and 14s you get to hang out with them, “Theile said.

Amy Axness is the board president for the Stars. Her daughter is going into her fifth season.

“So she really liked hockey before, and she liked playing co-ed, but once she started with the girls the camaraderie, and just the locker room talk and being able to have her best friends play on the team with her--she really loves it,” Axness said.

Coach Ali Jones grew up in Wisconsin and played hockey professionally. Now she wants to give girls an opportunity to enjoy hockey like she did.

“When I played as a young child it was mostly boys,” Jones said. “I think in the early 90s there was maybe about 200 female hockey players in Wisconsin, and now that has increased about 14% in the last 20-30 years, and so I think having that opportunity, having the higher competition and having the higher level of players to move on to play high school and college hockey is really quite exciting.”

Kenzie Benson says it’s her second year on the team, but she loved the game even before she joined.

“I’ve always loved hockey since I was like seven,” Benson said.

There is a try free day next Thursday at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire. Registration starts at 6:00 p.m. and practice runs from 6:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Eau Claire Stars you can visit their website.

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