Rec district’s fall sports approach in Vail Valley |

Rec district’s fall sports approach in Vail Valley

Katie Drucker
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail Daily file photoLadies participating in the Women's Mountain Hockey League battle for the puck during the 2009 tournament

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – With fall right around the corner, Western Eagle County rec district is gearing up for soccer, football, cheerleading and hockey.

The first programs to begin are for the youngsters. Start Smart Soccer, for pre-schoolers, begins Monday, with a same-day registration deadline. Start Smart football kicks off Sept. 2. Children must be registered by Aug. 28.

Athletes in kindergarten and older can begin soccer, football and cheerleading programs in mid-September. All three sports have registration deadlines of Sept. 4.

For those itching to lace up their hockey skates and hit the ice, the Eagle Ice Rink will be open on Sept. 28. for public skate and drop-in hockey sessions. Skating clinics begin Sept. 30 for inexperienced skaters who want to check out what skating is all about. There will be four sessions and will cost $12 per session.

The Learn-to-Skate program, offered for people ages 4 and up runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 17. This program teaches the basics – from standing on the ice to skating forward – to more advanced maneuvers, like backward snowplow stops.

A youth hockey clinic is being offered for 5-to-8-year-olds. This clinic is a good opportunity for children to try the sport before committing to a program. There will be four sessions and the clinic will cost $45, including skates and equipment rentals.

For all those 5-to-8-year-olds who enjoy the clinic and want to continue their hockey careers, the rec district is offering “In House” Recreational Ice Hockey.

“We are encouraging kids who have never played before … as long as they can skate,” says Sheryl Staten, Eagle Pool and Ice Rink manager. There will be a fall and a winter season. Kids must be registered to play by Oct. 2 to avoid late fees.

Adults can have their own hockey fun through rec district programs. Women 18 and older can participate in the Mountain Women’s Hockey League.

“I would have to say that hockey is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself,” said Claudia Harris Wells, a Mountain Women’s Hockey League participant. “Plus all of the unexpected friendships – what a bonus.

“I think a lot of people are intimidated by the ice – but once you get out there, there is no turning back,” said Wells.

The league starts off with a fall training clinic, then a draft will be completed to make up the teams. Games and practices are usually held on Sunday nights in both Vail and Eagle.

Men can also enjoy their own leagues in both the fall and the winter. There will be upper and lower leagues.

Make sure to check out all registration deadlines, fees and other important information at

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