How this story stayed under the media radar we have no idea. But the Red Bank Regional ice hockey team somehow managed to make it nearly through its entire season without much attention to the fact that three of the boys were actually girls.
redbankgreen learned about the presence of senior Amanda Kohlbecker, junior Kerry Wilson and sophomore Katie Devin on the team two weeks ago through a press release from the school. Clearly this was noteworthy, if not historic, right? No other team in the Shore B conference had even one girl on the roster, let alone three.
Then again, maybe gender just doesn’t matter the way it used to. Maybe young women have established they can compete in rough sports that were formerly the exclusive games of boys, so that the appearance of however many females on a “boys” team no longer merits much more than a shrug.
Still, we wanted to meet them. But trying to pin the trio down proved a challenge akin to stopping a frozen slab of rubber zipping across the ice in a blur.
In addition to the school team, all three girls also play on travel squads. And though Devin lives in the RBR district, in Shrewsbury, she attends the Biotechnology High School in Freehold. So other than time on the ice, they were rarely together.
We finally caught up with them late Friday, just minutes before they boarded a bus to Wayne, where the Buccaneers would face Lakeland in the first-round public B division playoffs of the NJSIAA championship tournament. (The NJSIAA calls the sport “boys’ hockey,” whereas RBR lists it simply as “ice hockey.”)
It turned out to be a pretty good game for Wilson, already the points leader among defense…persons on the team. But the Bucs lost, 7-2.
So that ended the season for the hockey team that just happened to have three young women on it.
Kohlbecker’s not sure yet where she’s going to college, and whether she’ll play. Wilson, though, has her eye on several college programs and hopes to land a hockey scholarship.
Meantime, Wilson says, “we’ll miss Amanda, but Katie and I should be back next year, and it should be a fun season.”
BTW: Rumson-Fair Haven is still alive in the public B division. Seeded 15th, R-FH hosts 18th-seeded West Windsor-Plainsboro North (16-5-2) at the Red Bank Armory Ice Complex on Chestnut Street today at 6p.