This winter, there will be a new cooperative boys hockey team taking the ice in the SWC/SCC Conference, as well as CIAC Division III.
Joel Barlow, Weston and Abbott Tech of Danbury will be combining their players, with Barlow operating as the host team.
“We’ll continue (as host) because we had the program last year,” Barlow athletic director Mike Santangeli said. “Since our numbers were decreasing, it was easiest to continue that way.”
The Falcons are looking to have approximately 14 players, Weston six and Abbott Tech four.
Last year, the Falcons were often short-handed during their 3-17 campaign. Low numbers meant some Barlow’s inexperienced players were forced into varsity action.
“We were down to one, one-and-a-half lines,” Santangeli said. “Hopefully, over the next three years the three schools will be able to become independent. But this will be good for now.”
After a year in which its players were without a home, it provides a boost for Weston High.
“We are all very excited to have our hockey players back playing high school hockey and are very much looking forward to the inaugural season of JBWA Ice Hockey,” Weston athletic director Mark Berkowitz said.
Until 2017-18, Weston had co-oped for decades with Staples High of Westport. From 2009 until 2017-18, it was a triumvirate along with Shelton High. The Wreckers operated independently last year.
With the three schools on board together, having a full roster will be a strong foundation to build on heading into the season.
“We are excited,” Santangeli said. “After going through what we did last year, it will be nice.”
JBWA will open the season on Dec. 12 against Wilton High at the Danbury Ice Arena.