August 14, 2020
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – Brillion High School will be the latest school to join the Fox Cities Stars hockey co-op program after a recent approval.
Jeremy Olson, entering his first year as head coach of the program, says Brillion joining the program is a good thing.
“With high school hockey in Wisconsin, some of the smaller high schools that can’t field a hockey team on their own join co-ops,” Olson said.
Co-ops for larger schools are common, too, in Wisconsin. Appleton and Green Bay schools both have their own co-ops.
“Once they hit the high school level, depending on where they went to school, they potentially didn’t have a place to continue to play the sport that they loved or liked,” Olson said.
The Stars have been around for close to two decades, initially known as the Xavier Hawks before Fox Cities Stars. The co-op currently includes Xavier, Fox Valley Lutheran, St. Mary’s Central, Little Chute, Kimberly, Kaukauna and Freedom, and competes in the Badgerland Conference. Home games are played at Tri County Ice Arena in Neenah. Xavier, the high school in Appleton, is the lead school with the program referred to as the Xavier co-op during playoffs and tournaments.
Brillion’s co-op is for two seasons and will need to be renewed in 2022.
During a traditional non-COVID-19 summer, the team would have had contact days on the ice rink and team activities off the ice rink for players to get to know teammates from different schools.
“I also get to know and learn some of the incoming kids from the different schools. Then they start forming bonds with the kids that are on the team,” Olson said.
At least two Brillion students, both freshmen – Landon Hanson and Austin Meyer – are expected to join the program this season.
A complete version of this story is available in the Aug. 13, 2020 print edition of The Brillion News.