Hockey tournament draws boot crowdFriday, two teams will take to the ice in search of glory. The community is invited to the city of Superior’s Faxon Street rink at 5 p.m. to watch the action during the inaugural University of Wisconsin-Superior intramural boot hockey tournament.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Friday, two teams will take to the ice in search of glory.
The community is invited to the city of Superior’s Faxon Street rink at 5 p.m. to watch the action during the inaugural University of Wisconsin-Superior intramural boot hockey tournament.
“We’re going to be competitive,” said Mike Kapalin, a UWS custodian on one of the two teams. “We’re wiry old people.”
Thursday, members of both teams laughed and cheered as they scrimmaged on the ice. The competitors were unique – both teams are made entirely of faculty and staff.
“I can’t remember if we ever had two staff teams in one tournament or league,” said Ryan Flaherty, a student intern for intramural sports on campus.
The quest for a hockey title started with Kapalin. As he was working in McCaskill Hall, he noticed fliers being posted for the tournament.
“I’m an old athlete myself,” he said. “I started kicking around the idea for adult teams.”
Kapalin bounced the thought off secretaries and other staff in McCaskill. Suddenly, he was faced with a slew of ex-athletes interested in a return to glory. Some were former basketball players; others had been on volleyball or football teams. The recruits ranged in age from 30 to 65.
“They all had that burning desire,” Kapalin said. “They wanted to play one more time.”
So they collected the biggest boots they could find, packed on warm clothes and held their first practice last week. They got pointers from Yellowjacket hockey coach Dan Stauber, and look to on-ice coach is Orv Clark, an education professor at UWS, for leadership.
The teams, McCaskill Black and McCaskill Gold, hope to give it their all.
“We want to show the campus and the community that we want to have fun,” said Krisi Patterson, assistant director of campus recreation.
Staff and faculty are always encouraged to join in the intramurals, Flaherty said.
“I believe it builds a better relationship between students and staff which can only improve our campus,” he said.
But this was a unique situation — an intramural competition with no students.
That left a question hanging Thursday at the Faxon Street rink: To play or not to play?
It was decided the tournament would go on as planned Friday between the two McCaskill teams. But, if students want to get in on the action, the winning team would be willing to defend their crown in two weeks.
Interested students can contact Harry Anderson at (715) 395-4651.
Kapalin said the teams were named after McCaskill Hall because this is the last year it will be in operation. It will be torn down after Swenson Hall opens in the fall.
“We’re trying to give it the dignity it deserves,” Kapalin said.
The custodian, who plays defense on the boot hockey team, said the upcoming demise of the building has led to closer ties between the faculty and staff who work there. They held two Vikings/Packers parties this school year when the football rivals met. Due to the fact that there are Vikings fans working at UWS, Kapalin said, they declined to have a Super Bowl Party. But they are planning a Super Valentines Party. Packers green and gold, he said, is acceptable attire, especially if the Lombardi Trophy returns to Wisconsin.
Like the boot hockey tournament, these get-togethers have been opportunities.
“It’s a chance to draw the people themselves together in community,” Kapalin said. “If you can have a slice of pie together or a piece of cake together, it’s cool.
“You get to know that person a little better than before,” he said. “It makes it more personable; isn’t that what it’s all about?”
Netting the boot hockey crown may not be a piece of cake, team members agreed, but it is an opportunity for camaraderie, and just maybe, some glory.
There is no admission to attend the game.