West Hills High roller hockey moves to new location

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Following more than a decade of travel, the defending CIF San Diego Section champion West Hills High roller hockey team will move to a new, nearby home for the 2013-14 season.

Skate San Diego, which operated out of its National City location for nearly 30 years, recently opened a new rink in El Cajon.

“It’s going to be great to play at a rink so close to the school,” said Steve Baldwin, coach of the Wolf Pack. “It beats all of those long trips to Escondido.”

Following more than a decade of travel, the defending CIF San Diego Section champion West Hills High roller hockey team will move to a new, nearby home for the 2013-14 season.

Skate San Diego, which operated out of its National City location for nearly 30 years, recently opened a new rink in El Cajon.

“It’s going to be great to play at a rink so close to the school,” said Steve Baldwin, coach of the Wolf Pack. “It beats all of those long trips to Escondido.”

The county league played at either a pair of rinks at Kit Carson Park in Escondido or Skate San Diego. However, owners the South Bay facility evicted owners of the rink for a new location of the Social Security Administration.

“They’re renting the building to the government, but we were fortunate that this location became available,” noted John Noris, who runs the new facility with his father, Joe Noris, a 1977 World Hockey Association all-star with the old San Diego Mariners.

When completed, the new rink will be home to a pro shop, locker rooms and other amenities. League play is already underway on the pristine surface.

“We lost some players from the South Bay, but we picked up even more players from East County and the city of San Diego,” noted the younger Noris. “So the move was been great.”

However, competition is already on the horizon with the anticipated announcement of a new San Diego County high school ice hockey league, to be sponsored by the NHL Anaheim Ducks.

“We’ve been hearing that for about a year, but I guess it’s finally going to happen,” said Baldwin. “However, they might only have teams based on your school district, for example, a single Grossmont Unified team instead of individual schools.”

Both roller hockey and ice hockey may be competing for players from the same pool of athletes.

“We’re not too concerned since most players already play both,” Noris stated. “We have one big, happy family already playing here, so we don’t believe there will be much of an impact.

Skate San Diego is located at 165 Denny Way.

Rink Notes. Grossmont College will offer a club roller hockey program this season. The Griffins will participate in the San Diego Collegiate Hockey League along with San Diego State and UC San Diego, among others.. Charles Baldwin, one of four brothers who played at West Hills, recently scored an exhibition game goal in his tryout to make the roster of a club in the Sweden Elite League.

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