San Antonio – The pending sale of the San Antonio Rampage American Hockey League team to the Vegas Golden Knights leaves many young hockey fans disappointed and sad.
Hudson and Lawson Pollard both play for the SA Junior Rampage. They’ve had the opportunity to attend Rampage games and clinics held by the minor league organization.
“I just don’t want them to go. They’re a great team to watch,” Hudson said.
Lawson said attending a clinic with the big players was memorable.
“It was really fun with all the other hockey players and coaches,” he said.
Their father, Jody Pollard, is the president of the SA Junior Rampage. The organization has six teams of different age groups that make up about 120 skaters.
Pollard said the junior team is not directly linked to the AHL team, but it was a partner organization that helped with fundraisers, clinics and exposure of the game to the kids.
About 5% of junior league’s operating budget was gained with the help of the AHL team, Pollard said. But the most significant impact will be the drawing of fans.
“We will have our challenges on how we continue to grow the sport. We will have to do it from a much more grassroots, organic methodology,” Pollard said.
The junior league plays at the Ice and Golf Center At Northwoods. The SA Rampage practices at that same facility. The managers were not available for a comment on what the economic impact will mean for their facility.
Pollard said everyone close to the game will feel the loss.
“There’s coaches, there’s players, there’s personnel, there’s employees, there’s people who work at the AT&T Stadium that are impacted by this move, so our thoughts are with them, as well,” he said.
The Junior Rampage said it is not going anywhere, and it welcomes any hockey fans who want to support it by attending its games.
Children ages 4 to 9 are invited to attend a free hockey day experience at 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 23 at 17530 Henderson Pass.