Cotter will have a varsity high school boys hockey team next season the school announced on Tuesday.
For years, Cotter has been a part of a co-op with Winona Senior High but students and parents at Cotter wanted their own identity. This year they played at the junior varsity level and intend on fielding a varsity team next season.
Plans were set in motion about two years ago when a group of parents and boosters decided the time was right to form a Cotter Rambler Hockey Team. And while the team only has 10 players right now, and they must borrow goalies from their opponent, the foundation is being laid for a program that has very high aspirations.
“We are playing a junior varsity schedule this year with the intentions of playing at the varsity level next season,” Interim Athletic Director Marie Barrientos said. “It’s very exciting to see our boys’ step onto the ice in their Cotter hockey jerseys. We know that this is just the start of something wonderful.”
At the helm for the Ramblers is veteran coach Martin Raymond who has more than 25 years of coaching experience around the globe. Raymond said he was drawn to Cotter because of the school family and the potential to build a strong program from the bottom up.
“It is a big challenge, but also an honor to start a program,” Raymond said. “We are a small team in terms of numbers, but our work ethic and commitment are second to none. We hope to build this team into a contender in a short amount of time.”
With plans to welcome students in grades K-12 soon, new dormitory facilities, $20 million in classroom renovations and a 30-year-old international boarding program, Cotter Hockey hopes to attract players from the local area and abroad to solidify its fledgling hockey program.
Even the state’s professional team, the Minnesota Wild, has taken notice of the Cotter Ramblers. Cotter was asked recently to present a Cotter hockey sweater to the Wild so it can be displayed in the Xcel Energy Center concourse with every other boy and girl’s hockey team in Minnesota.