SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls Youth Hockey Association is set to start a new season, the 50th in program history.

“Lots of memories, lots of families that have gone through our program,” Sioux Falls Youth Hockey Director of Operations Cherry Hunter said.

Cherry Hunter is Director of Operations, and has been part of the hockey association for 42 years.

“We’ve had certainly our ups and downs but Sunday will be a day to start the celebration for our 50th year,” Hunter said.

The event will honor a half-century of contributions to youth hockey.

“We will be celebrating our forefathers, past presidents, the guys that make the ice,” Hunter said.

“From youth to high school, it’s going to be a pretty special celebration,” Sioux Falls Flyers head coach Ben Prisbe said.

Prisbe is entering his fifth season as Flyers Varsity Head Coach, and grew up playing hockey in Sioux Falls.

“All the coaches, the parents and the players that have gone through the ranks and just have gotten to see where we are today it’s pretty cool to think about all the growth and all the people that have cared so much about this program and made it what it is today, it’s pretty special,” Prisbe said.

The program currently features more than 800 players, and interest continues to grow.

“I would expect we would reach the 2,000 mark,” Hunter said.

The IcePlex is an upgrade over past facilities, but Hunter says more space is key for the continued development of Sioux Falls Youth Hockey.

“We are at a max right now with the sheets of ice we have, so we are in desperate need of more,” Hunter said. “For our youth to continue to enjoy our sport, it is going to take more sheets of ice,” Hunter added.

Growth that will come with the next 50 years.