Like most 5th graders, Madeline McKie did not take no as an answer.
So when she was told there was certain regulations if girls wanted to play on the boy’s hockey team in 6th grade, she did something about it.
McKie explained how her team began, “I helped, in fifth grade, start the team at my middle school. My friends wanted to start it but there [weren’t] enough girls so we kind of rallied everyone together to get it going. My best friend’s dad said he would coach for us, so we kind of got that moving in fifth grade, and then we moved up and played all through middle school and all through high school.”
“We did not want to play with the boys. You were segregated out in different locker rooms and couldn’t hit like the boys can. We wanted to play with girls,” McKie said.
Mckie said that the team has continued to grow throughout the years.
“There [weren’t] a lot of numbers when we first started, and now they have a full roster, and a lot of girls play in the middle school which then helped the team grow in high school,” McKie said.
Fast forward a few years, and McKie now plays left wing on the KSC Women’s Club Hockey team.
Keene State graduate (and former Equinox editor) Sabrina Lapointe had a similar mindset as McKie when she helped start the KSC Women’s Club Hockey team in 2012. Lapoint said, “I think what we have in common is we don’t let people limit what we want to do.”
“I came to KSC knowing they had a men’s club team and I wasn’t sure what that meant for me. I wanted to play with girls, so I posted on the class of 2016 page and I just said, ‘Are there any female hockey players that are interested in starting a team?’” Lapoint said.
KSC graduate Ashley Waterman also helped Lapoint start the team.
“She happened to comment on it and we went from there,” Lapoint said.
“When we left, we were not sure if the program would fold out. We always had a hard time keeping up with numbers, we were not sure if the school would continue to support it. So it’s been great to see the girls who are now seniors when we were freshman and [how] they’ve definitely taken it into their own hands and ran with it.”
Shelby McHugh is a senior at KSC who plays on the team. “We really push the girls to take this seriously. I’m definitely not worried for the future of this team. I know [McKie will] keep this going because she won’t want to lose it,” McHugh said.
Mckie said that having the KSC Women’s Club Hockey team was awesome to have while transitioning from high school to college. “Being able to have girls play a sport that was deemed as a ‘guys sport’ is a really big thing,” said Mckie.
Lapoint explained the lack of difference between men and women playing hockey. , “It means that we can do the same thing as men, and sometimes better,” Lapoint said.
“There’s leagues and leagues and leagues of just girls and I’m absolutely proud of seeing that. I can’t wait to hopefully be a coach for a team like that in the near future,” McHugh said.
Izzy Harris can be contacted