October 1, 2012

What's Going On: Hockey league is for all ages

— If you know how to inline skate, then you are already a better hockey player than I am. But you might also want to test your skills against other rink warriors.

The Dalton Inline Hockey League is starting up again for another season. After playing at Lakeshore Park previously, the league will play this season’s games at The Zone Skate Center, located at 611 Sheridan Ave. in Dalton, off of Walnut Avenue.

The league is open for everyone from boys and girls age 6 and older to men and women of all ages. Games and practices are on Tuesdays, starting with a general practice in conjunction with in-person registration this week from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Zone. Another general practice and in-person registration session is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Games begin Oct. 30 after two weeks of team practices and continue with seven games (one each week) and then a championship game on Jan. 8.

Keith Cochran, who runs the league, said it has been around for at least 15 years. Last season the league had 32 players for four teams of eight. Cochran said he hopes to divide the league into two divisions this year, one for ages 6 through 12 and one for ages 13 and older. It’s important to continue cycling younger players through and getting kids interested early, he said.

“If you don’t keep bringing up the 6-to-9-year-olds, you’re left with just adults and the league kind of falls apart,” Cochran said. “Once someone plays, they mostly stay. They enjoy it.”

Cochran is also planning a pickup game once a month on Tuesdays in the offseason.

“If someone can’t skate and wanted to come out in tennis shoes — no one has ever done that before,” he said. “But if they loved hockey and wanted to come out for the pickup games, we’d let them do that.”

League members will need at least $100 to buy skates, gloves and a helmet, although the league provides sticks and some helmets. Registration for the league is $60, which pays for rink time and referees.

The Dalton Recreation Department also gives an annual $300 stipend to help support the league.

In addition to in-person registration, interested players can sign up at leaguelineup.com/daltonhockey.

And here’s a look at what else is going on:

• Off the rink and onto the diamond, where local teams are making their push to reach the softball state playoffs.

Today is a big day as some teams could be finished but two have the chance to clinch a spot at state.

If Murray County beats Pepperell at 5 p.m. today in the Region 7-2A tournament at Alto Park in Rome, then the Lady Indians will be one of the final four teams in the region and guaranteed of a state berth — a year after going winless.

In the Region 7-4A tournament at Heritage Point here in town, Southeast Whitfield faces Cedartown at 5 p.m. in an elimination matchup, while Dalton faces the Gilmer-Pickens winner at

 to see whose season continues and top-seeded Northwest Whitfield faces Cass at 7 p.m. in the winner’s bracket semifinals with a chance to clinch a spot in the state playoffs.

In the Region 5-3A tournament at the Jack Mattox Recreation Complex in Ringgold, North Murray faces Gordon Central and Coahulla Creek battles Adairsville in first-round matchups. Both games begin at 5 p.m.

The winner of the North Murray-Gordon Central game advances to face Sonoraville at 7 p.m., while the loser will play on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The winner of the Coahulla Creek-Adairsville game will play at 7 against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, while the loser plays on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

n On the volleyball court, everyone’s in the final stretch of the regular season and by the end of the week some local teams will be playing in the Area 7-4A tournament, which Southeast Whitfield will host.

Be sure to check our Area Prep Schedule daily to keep up with what is going on throughout the school year. The schedule runs each day in our Scoreboard section, which is located on page 3B in today’s edition, and is always online at daltonnow.com/events.

Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have something you think he should highlight in “What’s Going On?” Write to him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com.