Eagle Point High School freshman, Jase Allen Deemer, grew up in a household that lived and breathed ice hockey. Both his mother and her only brother played high-competition travel-team ice hockey from a young age and into adulthood. His grandfather coached ice hockey teams through the semi-professional level for 17 years. And when it became time for Jase to start skating high school ice hockey, he found that Eagle Point was not represented by a team. His only choice under the Rogue Valley Youth Ice Hockey Association rules was to skate on the closest team available. As both Crater High School and North Medford High School were equidistant- Jase made the choice not to support his high school’s major athletic rival, and so began skating on the North Medford team.
Jase proudly represents both Eagle Point High School and his North
Medford High School Ice Hockey team. Knowing that this raises some eye
brows, he easily explains that " I’d be skating for Eagle Point if they
had a team- I just happen to represent every Eagle Point High School
student on the one team I can skate on." But, this may be changing in
the near future. It appears there will be another school joining in to
compete with the standing six other high school teams- North and South
Medford, Ashland, Crater, Klamath Falls, and Churchhill of Eugene—
Eagle Point High School.
Wearing his game-day hockey sweater
( in football they call them Jerseys) with the North Medford Black
Tornado logo on it, at first brought some cat calling from fellow
students. Once it was explained that he was representing them in ice
hockey, there was much more understanding and a higher level of
interest in the sport. Questions were asked why Eagle Point didn’t have
their own team. The answer came back to one single point- the former
Eagle Point High School Athletic Director rebuffed every attempt at
organizing a team. His personal reasons for this attitude went without
explanation, but no was not just "no"- it was "NO!" However, that no
longer seems to be the attitude at EPHS.
The new EPHS
Athletic and Activities Director, Brian Winter, having been raised in
Minnesota, is not only familiar with ice hockey, he had played it in
his youth. When the question of whether EPHS would support an ice
hockey team was raised before him, he had a few questions of his own.
How a team would be organized, how would it affect his other sport
participation numbers, funding, and numerous other questions that
showed he was doing his job justice, were asked and answered to his
satisfaction. Upon the knowledge that the sport would be administered
as a high school club sport with administrative oversight and control
by EPHS, self-supporting without need for budgeted funds, and played as
a "winter sport" under RVYHA , USA Hockey, and Oregon’s Amateur Athlete
rules and regulations, he has stated, "We would love to have hockey at
Eagle Point as a club sport".
It is unknown whether Eagle
Point will be able to field a competitively active team for the 2009/10
season as the skill package for the varsity sport may not be obtainable
by enough students prior to next season. Those students who develop
their ice hockey skills over the next nine months will have the
opportunity to play the sport just as Deemer has, for an existing team,
until the number of Eagle Point skaters reaches a level of skill and
numbers for them to stand on their own blades. This has been how all of
the teams have developed since the league began six years ago. And in
reality this has made a much stronger high school ice hockey league as
the players have developed great friendships and respect for each other
prior to leaving to join in their own new team when that time arrived.
and parents who wish to investigate the Eagle Point High School Ice
Hockey team organization, or assist in bringing this sport to life at
Eagle Point, may contact – Frank Springer at 865-3933. Middle School
students as well as high school students will be welcome to participate
in upcoming skill building sessions. They do not need to know how to
ice skate at this time.
For now, Jase Deemer proudly
represents Eagle Point High School as its only Varsity Ice Hockey
player. He hopes that in the near future he will just be referred to
as its "first" ice hockey player for the new EPHS ice hockey team.
parent or student who wishes to see what the current High School Ice
Hockey teams look like in action, can come and watch the end of season
tournament play-offs beginning Wednesday, Feb. 27, with games scheduled
for the following 10 days. These games are held at Medford’s – The
RRRink skating complex at the south end of the South Fred Meyers
shopping center off exit 27.
By Frank Springer