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Potsdam will not have a Bantam hockey team this year

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POTSDAM — An attempt to revive Potsdam’s Bantam Junior Hockey Program has fallen by the wayside due to a lack of interest.

Last season was the first time in several years that the town had a Bantam team, open for 13- and 14-year-old boys.

Potsdam has had a hard time maintaining interest in the program, with most parents electing to enroll their children in the more competitive St. Lawrence Thunder.

“We didn’t really have big numbers over the last few years because of the Thunder,” said Michael Grant, director of the Potsdam Junior Hockey Association.

Last year, the association triedto revive the team. It had enough players, but only just.

“We had to work really hard to get that team last year,” Mr. Grant said.

This year saw the creation of a new minor league Bantam team in Canton, which has lured away more Potsdam youths. Now there are only a few 13- and 14 year-olds who still want to play in Potsdam.

“Some other people kind of beat us to the punch,” Mr. Grant said of the creation of Canton’s team.

Kids who still want to play Bantam hockey will need to travel to play for Norfolk.

None of this affects the health of Potsdam’s other youth hockey teams, including the four girls’ teams, four boys’ teams and a mixed beginners’ team, Mr. Grant said. The junior hockey association will continue to rent the same amount of ice time at Pine Street Arena.

According to Mr. Grant, the association still hopes to revive the Bantam team.

For now, though, Potsdam can’t compete with other area teams that travel further to play and offer more options for competitive players and their parents.

“We’d love to do it; it’s just so hard to compete with these other teams and what they offer, for the parents who are looking for higher-level hockey,” Mr. Grant said.

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