Muskie coaches to face tough decisions

The boys got 55 players to come out; the girls had around 25.
Tryouts for the two Muskie hockey squads got underway Tuesday night and the numbers were lower than what both programs expected.
“You’d always like to see more and we thought we would have more from last year, but it’s about the same as last year,” Muskie girls’ head coach Lynn Kellar said.
The Muskie boys’ team had close to 80 players try out last year and that’s how many head coach Shane Bliss had been predicting for this season.
But because of the cost of the ice time the team had reserved (12 hours over seven days), it had to implement a $50 tryout fee, which Bliss said probably turned away some slightly-interested players.
Neither team has made any cuts yet, but tonight will be the start of what is one of the toughest parts of coaching—breaking the bad news to hopefuls.
“It’s never easy having to cut a player,” said Bliss.
“The hardest part of any season is doing the cuts and picking your team,” agreed Kellar. “It’s difficult to cut kids that want to be part of the team and have worked hard, but that’s what happens with
competitive programs.”
This will be Kellar’s first year as the “official” head coach of the Muskie girls’ team as he stepped up from his assistant coaching position late last season when Jim McMahon resigned.
And the former long-time president of the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association has some hefty goals for the squad beginning its sixth year of existence.
“Our goal this year is to win NorWOSSA and go to OFSAA, and I think this team is capable of that,” Kellar said.
Tryouts for the girls resume tonight from 9:15-10:15 at the Ice for Kids Arena while the boys hit the ice from 7:15-9:15 p.m.
Tomorrow is slated to be the final night of tryouts for the girls’ team (6:15-7:45 p.m.)
The boys wrap up tryouts next Monday to Thursday from 6:45-8:15 p.m. each day.