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Potsdam will not have a Bantam hockey team this year

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POTSDAM - An attempt to revive Potsdam’s Bantam Junior Hockey Program has fallen to the wayside because of a lack of interest.

Last season was the first time in a few years that Potsdam Junion Hockey fielded a Bantam team, which is open for 13-14 year-old boys.

Potsdam has had a hard time maintaining interest in the program, with many POtsdam parents electing to enroll their children in the more-competitive St. Lawrence Thunder, a team featuring players from around he county that has been crowned state champions and competed for the national title in recent years.

“We didn’t really have big numbers over the last few years because of the Thunder,” said Michael Grant, director of the Potsdam Junior Hockey Association.

Last year the association attempted to revive the team. They had enough players, but not by much.

“We had to work really hard to get that team last year,” Mr. Grant said.

This year saw the creation of a new Bantam team for 13 year olds in Canton, which has lured away even more Potsdam youths. Now there are only a handful of 13-14 year-old players who still want to play in Potsdam.

“Some other people kind of beat us to the punch,” Mr. Grant said of the creation of Canton’s team.

None of this affects the health of Potsdam’s other youth hockey teams, including the four girls’ teams, four boys’ teams, and mixed beginners’ teams, Mr. Grant said. The junior hockey association will continue to rent the same amount of ice time at Pine Street Arena.

According to Mr. Grant, the association still hopes to revive the Bantam team. For now, though, Potsdam can’t compete with other area teams that travel further to play and offer more options for competitive players and their parents.

“We’d love to do it, it’s just so hard to compete with these other teams and what they offer, for the parents who are looking for higher-level hockey,” Mr. Grant said.

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