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Manatee County to ice 2-LHSHL Teams for 2016-17 Season

07/26/2016, 5:45pm EDT

For the first time since it's creation 2 years ago, the West Manatee catchment area will be active for the 2016-2017 season

The LHSHL is pleased to announce the activation of the West Manatee catchment area for the 2016-17 season, giving Manatee County its much anticipated second high school team.

Long-time, USA Hockey certified Level IV coach, and founder and President of Slide Athletics/G1 Hockey/G1 Goaltending, Jay Kirk, will be the Head Coach of the West Manatee team. He will be assisted by Chuck Morabito.

Kirk has more than 25-years of coaching experience throughout New York state and the Rochester, NY area. He has coached high school, collegiate and elite travel/tournament teams, and has coached both boys and girls programs. He is the founder of the Rochester Red Wings Hockey Program where he led his Teams to state championships and a number 1 national ranking in the Bantam Major Tier II level in 2005. Kirk also served as Head Coach of the Hamilton Junior “A” Red Wings in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League during the 2007-08 season, and was the only American Coach in the 35-Team League. 

The West Manatee catchment area consists of the following schools: Manatee, Bayshore, Braden River, and Southeast. The official team name and colors will be determined soon, and Kirk and Morabito are actively recruiting players for the new team, which will be based out of Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. The West Manatee Team Tryout, which is mandatory for all players to attend, is scheduled for Sunday, August 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Ellenton.

As noted, the West Manatee team gives Manatee County its second high school team, as the East Manatee Admirals will once again be competing in the League and looking to reclaim its 2015 Lightning Cup and SAHOF State Championships from the Mitchell Mustangs. East Manatee’s catchment area consists of the following schools: Lakewood Ranch and Palmetto. Please continue to check the LHSHL website for the date and time of the East Manatee Team Tryout.

Please keep in mind that if a Player participated in the LHSHL last season, regardless of which team they played for (2015-16), they MUST register on-line for the upcoming 2016-17 season no later than Friday, August 5th. Returning Players who fail to register by August 5th will not be permitted to play in a League game until January 1, 2017.   

The LHSHL welcomes West Manatee and Coaches Jay Kirk and Chuck Morabito, and looks forward to an exciting season of high school hockey.

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