Just recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Pacey
again, as well as with Jane Solverson, the Southeast District
Director of the Statewide Amateur Hockey of Florida (SAHOF)
young players, and to grow our grassroots hockey programs here
One of the newest hockey programs to be established is the
Florida Girls Hockey Program, which was created through the
are broken down into three separate levels, which Solverson
describes using Novotny’s analogy of a three-story house.
some things we’re going to do at rinks all across the state to
Pacey has done, and also what Kristen Bowness of the Lightning
Made Girls Hockey program has done,” Solverson said.
“They’re trying to get these girls to play each other cross-
having the excitement of playing another girls’ team without
having to go play travel,” Solverson said, “We’re trying to get
girls to stay at their home rinks, not always feeling like they have
to run to the next best thing.
“And then the third floor,
which is really the smallest
percentage, are the Alliance girls’
teams that we’re doing, which are
those statewide teams. This year
we’re going to have 12U, 14U,
about that. We’re having try-outs
now through August, and then
that,” Solverson explained.
Further efforts by
SAHOF are to create a
girls’ program that
can be administered
opposed to running
programs in an individual
“We can operate in any rink
and we can help them grow their
girls’ programs. Think about the
girls playing for the state, as
opposed to playing for a local
‘Us versus Them’, which can get
says, ‘I’m really proud to play for
my state because when I play for
an Alliance team, then I’m playing
for my state,’” Solverson said.
While Solverson oversees progress in various programs
from Washington, D.C. to Louisiana, RDV Sportsplex in Orlando
for the successes they have achieved over the past two years.
Pacey, who has coached at RDV for 13 years, grew up playing
hockey in Maryland with her brothers, and went on to play
Division I college hockey in both Pennsylvania and New York on
pursue as more than a player.
“I was itching to be involved, and I met one of my mentors,
Jim Haverstrom. He used to work for RDV and he got me into
coaching. I started anywhere, anything I could do with anyone,
and I just loved it. I started in the boys’ travel program and was
As hockey has become more popular among the female
amount of young girls and teens who, like her, are itching to be
involved in the sport.
with a 12U and a 15U team. In the fall, the Express hopes to
expand with an 8U team. Each of the Express teams competes
in RDV’s boys’ House League bracket, although Pacey says that
See GIRLS, page 28