The Maranacook/Hall-Dale/Winthrop co-operative hockey team is no more.

Citing low numbers and budgetary concerns, Hall-Dale athletic director Tim Johnson said the school dropped out of the co-op.

“We told them to go ahead and petition for a Class B schedule because Hall-Dale is not part of the equation,” Johnson said.

The Maranacook/Winthrop co-operative program will drop from Class A to Class B this season. The Hawks will compete in Western B.

“With the subtraction of Hall-Dale, this lowers the total enrollment,” Maranacook athletic director Al MacGregor said.

The three schools merged for hockey in 2008. They were part of different co-op programs in years prior — Winthrop and Hall-Dale played together while Maranacook and Monmouth paired up.

Maranacook then joined with Winthrop and Hall-Dale.

Winthrop and Maranacook each had nine players on the team last season. However, Hall-Dale had just two students play hockey last year and one (Matt Plourde) graduated. Joshua Ehiorobo is the other.

“Their numbers had dropped considerably,” MacGregor said.

Andy Dube, who coached the Hawks for three seasons, also resigned, citing time constraints.

“It’s for various reasons,” Dube said. “My work schedule made it tough and just the direction the program is going in. It’s a combination of a lot of things. I haven’t quit coaching but it’s time for someone else to give it a chance. I thought it would be a good idea to try something different.”

The Hawks went 10-7-2 last season. Dube will serve as the hockey director of Camp Manitou, located on East Lake in Belgrade.

MacGregor said a search to replace Dube will begin soon.

“What we’ll do is once things slow down in the next week or two, the Winthrop athletic director (Dwayne Conway) and I will post the position. Hopefully, we can have it settled before school starts.”

MacGregor added the Hawks will keep its nickname but will need new uniforms. The team will still play at Kents Hill, although a few home games will be scheduled at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault.

Meanwhile, Cony and Monmouth will continue its co-operative next season. The Mustangs have two players — Cody Pelletier and Tommy Small — who skated with Cony last season.

The Maranacook/Winthrop and Cony/Monmouth programs are two of 12 co-op hockey programs in the state.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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