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      Young athletes compete to represent Northern Michigan at State Games

      26 young athletes hit the ice at the Otsego County Sportsplex Sunday to try out for the "Team North" girls' hockey team, which will represent northern lower Michigan at the Meijer State Games in Grand Rapids June 19th-22nd.

      The tryouts consisted of skill tests on the ice, as well as team-building exercises off the ice. Coaches had to whittle the roster down to 20 players following the tryouts, including 18 skaters and two goalies.

      The Meijer State Games features 30 different Olympic-style competitions, pitting athletes from different regions of Michigan against each other.

      Jake Martin, the head coach of "Team North," said that the games are a great chance for college athletic hopefuls to show scouts what they've got.

      "The opportunity is huge," Martin said. "It's going to be great exposure. There are going to be a number of scouts from colleges both within Michigan and outside of Michigan at the State Games. Hockey is the fastest growing collegiate sport for women, and it is a great opportunity for these girls, if they choose to pursue sports at the next level, where they can get that exposure."