The Sanford High boys’ hockey program is in retreat. But the Redskins don’t know if reinforcements are on the way.

Sanford has eliminated varsity hockey this season and will play only a 10-game junior varsity schedule.

“We’re trying to save the hockey program,” said Sanford Athletic Director Gordon Salls, adding that a combination of inexperience and a small roster contributed to the decision.

“Our numbers have not been great the last three years.”

Sanford has 14 players this season: five seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and one freshman.

With so many seniors and no junior high program, it’s questionable whether Sanford can field a team next year.

“When you don’t have a rink in your own community and very few players in youth hockey, it’s hard to have a varsity program,” Salls said.

The closest rinks are 17 miles away, in Rochester, N.H., where the Redskins practice, and in Biddeford, where Sanford plays its home games.

With no varsity team at Sanford, there are still 15 teams in Western Class A, including three co-op teams: Lake Region/Fryeburg, Marshwood/Traip and Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach.

Eastern Class A has 13 teams, including four co-ops: Gray-New Gloucester/Poland, Mt. Ararat/Lisbon, Windham/Sacopee Valley and Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop.

Boys’ hockey teams began practice last week and start their season on Dec. 10.

THE GIRLS’ SEASON began last Friday with a mild upset as Biddeford topped preseason favorite Scarborough, 2-1.

Two facts to note from that game are that Biddeford is better than anticipated and Scarborough was missing players because of the holiday weekend.

The Tigers played an excellent defensive game to stop the Red Storm. Kellie Renk and Jenna Roy scored for Biddeford, and goalie Emily Brassley made 18 saves.

Noticeably absent for Scarborough was its catalyst, defenseman Abby Rutt, who was away with her family. Red Storm Coach Caitlin Cashman said Rutt was one of six players missing.

The rematch is Jan. 10 in Biddeford.

GREELY WAS scheduled to start its season last Friday, but it was also scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament.

So, the game against Leavitt/Edward Little was rescheduled for Dec. 27.

While Leavitt joined forces with Edward Little to its roster, the team did lose all-state forward Kara Violette, who transferred to St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass.

ST. DOMINIC is off to its expected fast start with a 6-0 win over Falmouth and a 7-2 win against Brunswick.

Sophie Goulet already has five goals, and Marisa Zamrock has three goals and five assists.

The Saints face a test when they play Greely on Friday.

THE NEW coaching staff at Cape Elizabeth features an unusual University of Maine-Boston University connection.

Head coach Billy LeBlond helped BU win a national championship in 1978. Assistant coach Barrett Heisten played on the Black Bears’ NCAA title team in 1999.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]