Boarding the bus for Friday night’s playoff game were, from left, Kerry Wilson and Katie Devin of Shrewsbury and Amanda Kohlbecker of Little Silver.
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.”)