The Division III ECAC East will add Castleton State (Vt.) to the league, beginning in 2004-05. The league is home to defending NCAA Division III champion Norwich.
“We are delighted to be part of the ECAC East hockey,” said Dave Wolk, president of Castleton State College. “Castleton is proud of all of our new and improved athletic programs for our men and women, and as a leader in the greater Rutland [Vt.] community we are excited about investing in our new home at the Rutland Region Fieldhouse. Rutland area hockey fans will soon be able to see the best of ECAC hockey, and we are proud to lead the way.”
The Spartans become the tenth member of the ECAC East; the addition of Castleton will return the league’s Division III membership to eight schools.
Founded in 1787, Castleton State College is located on a 160-acre campus in the Lakes Region of western Vermont. The school’s total undergraduate enrollment of 1,700 places Castleton close to the conference average, as does its sponsorship of 15 varsity intercollegiate athletics programs.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Castleton State to the ECAC East Hockey League,” said ECAC commissioner Phil Buttafuoco. “The school has made a commitment to hockey, both men’s and women’s, that will strategically benefit itself as well as the ECAC. We look forward to building a great relationship with the Castleton State community and its hockey program.”
Castleton currently plays home games at Riley Rink in nearby Manchester, Vt., as it plays an independent schedule. Its current roster includes 19 freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors, and includes players from six different states and one Canadian province. The team captains for this, the program’s inaugural season, are Ty Pratt (Colchester, Vt.), Joe Zeitler (Glens Falls, NY), Chad Quirion (South Glens Falls, NY), and Matt Hopper (Shelburne, Vt.).
The Spartans are coached by Greg Stone, and assistants Terry Moran, T.J. Moran, and Mike Coppinger.
“We are excited to face the challenges ahead and look forward to the competition that the ECAC East will bring to our young program,” said school athletic director Deanna Tyson.