NEVILLE ISLAND — When you love a sport and desire to play it to the highest level available, you will find some way to make it happen.
Punxsy Area High School sophomore Eli Thompson, with his family's support, is taking the bull by the horns, or skates to the ice in this case, to play scholastic ice hockey.
For the second year in a row through a co-op provision between high schools, Thompson is playing for and starting on Ford City High School's hockey team.
After tying for the top spot in Varsity Class Open Section 3 regular season, Thompson and Ford City will play Wheeling Park (WV) on Monday night for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League Open Cup 2013.
The two hockey teams will play at the Robert Morris University facility located at 7600 Grand Ave., in Neville Island, with the puck to be dropped at 8 p.m.
The Ford City Sabers qualified for the Open Cup after defeating Indiana, 7-4, on Thursday night to become Section 3's Chiefs Cup champions.
Thompson is able to play for Ford City since Punxsy has no hockey team of its own. Ford City is a co-op team that has players not only from its own school, but also from Punxsy, Slippery Rock and Leechburg high schools.
For the full story, see Saturday's edition of The Spirit.