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A bunch of hooligans: The LaGrange ball hockey team is having its first season in the Georgia Ball Hockey League season – LaGrange Daily News

A bunch of hooligans: The LaGrange ball hockey team is having its first season in the Georgia Ball Hockey League season – LaGrange Daily News
A bunch of hooligans: The LaGrange ball hockey team is having its first season in the Georgia Ball Hockey League season – LaGrange Daily News

 


A bunch of hooligans: The LaGrange ball hockey team is having its first season in the Georgia Ball Hockey League season

Published at 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 15, 2024

What do you get when you put a bunch of LaGrange athletes on the same hockey team? You get the Hooligans.

The LaGrange Hooligans are enjoying the first season of the inaugural Georgia Ball Hockey League season, which operates under the umbrella of the National Ball Hockey League. The team is currently 2-1 and second out of four teams in the standings.

In the first game we held out and eventually won 5-0. We did pretty well in the second game too, I think we won 4-2 and the last game, yeah we lost, that was eight to zip. It was tough, but you only know how good you are when you play against someone better.

The Georgia Ball Hockey League would not exist without Cunningham. He insisted on its existence and helped ensure that it ran smoothly in its first year.

“It's going really well and I'm 90% sure we'll have at least one or two more teams next season,” Cunningham said. I know a lot of guys from the other teams, so it's fun and competitive.

Growth and expansion are already on the horizon. Although the league is only halfway through its first season, Cunningham is already mapping out how and where the league can grow from here.

The boys in Birmingham may bring a team. Dothan could have one. We could get two teams from Columbus, and another one or two from Macon. Maybe something from Savannah. All of those places also have ball hockey or roller hockey teams, some of which might be interested in playing for a state title, Cunningham said. I don't think it would be that difficult to go from four teams this year to eight or even ten next year.

This was LaGrange hockey's first foray into the National Ball Hockey League. The Hooligans were originally the Quad-State Hooligans, as they attracted people from all over the Southeast to North Carolina to play in the ball hockey league.

It was fun, but the tension was too much. Ultimately, this led to Cunningham developing the Georgia Ball Hockey League.

That was really tough. Carolina has been playing for a while and the Raleigh Street Hockey League has been around for about 20 years. So you have a lot of guys who have grown from that and played hockey, and they have a lot of really great talent, Cunningham said. That's probably the best thing of all: now we're all playing together.

Traveling is much less stressful now because they play every game in Peachtree City. Two teams are based in Atlanta, one in Augusta and one here in LaGrange.

Three of the teams are pretty much neck and neck, but that fourth team has a lot more experience and they're from Atlanta and they obviously have a much bigger pool to draw from, so they have some college hockey players playing with them. , Cunningham said.

There are also no real age limits. The Hooligans have players aged 16 to 62.

The season lasts until August, with the winner of a playoff getting the opportunity to compete for a national championship in New Jersey in September. The next set of matches is this Saturday, with the Hooligans playing at 12, 1 and 4pm

I've been playing sports all my life and even really good teams have their weaknesses and you know, once you've seen them or played against them, you can pick them out and figure out what to do. To counter that, Cunningham said of the Dirty Birds, who defeated the Hooligans 8-0 in their first meeting this season. They decisively defeated the other three teams. We just have to adapt.

Sources

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