Twin sisters Morgan and Ally Trimper want to play college ice hockey, and in order to improve their chances of doing so, they will leave Bangor High School this fall to attend the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut.

The daughters of University of Maine baseball coach Steve Trimper and wife Lisa are sophomores and will repeat their sophomore years at the prep school.

Steve Trimper explained that Taft doesn’t offer a postgraduate program, and college hockey coaches recommended that student-athletes play three years of prep school hockey before making the jump to college hockey.

The Trimpers recently attended a regional hockey festival at the Northford Ice Pavilion in Connecticut, and Morgan Trimper was one of four girls from among the 84 in attendance to earn a slot in the U.S. Under-17 National Festival in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in July for the nation’s top 180 players in that age group.

“I was very surprised,” said Morgan, who had four goals in three games. “I’m really excited.”

Old Town’s Olivia King also attended the regional camp but has not yet received word on her status for the U-15 age group.

The Trimpers played on the Bangor High School boys hockey team, and they also played on the Rams’ Class A state championship girls soccer team last fall. They are currently playing on the Bangor softball team.

They will play all three sports at Taft, but hockey is their first love.

“It was a very difficult decision,” Morgan Trimper said. “We waited until the last moment to decide.

“But this is a real good opportunity, and we couldn’t pass it up. We felt we had to take advantage of it,” she added.

“There was a lot of back and forth, but in the end it just seemed like the best opportunity for me and Morgan,” Ally said.

They will play hockey for Gretchen (Ulion) Silverman, who led the 1998 United States Olympic team to a gold medal in Nagano, Japan.

The Trimpers were recruited by several prep schools and visited six or seven of them. They felt Taft was the right choice for them.

“It was the very first school we talked to,” Ally said. “It’s pretty small, there was a nice environment and everyone seemed happy.”

“You’ll get to know most of the people there, and you can take the classes you want to take,” Morgan said. “It was a perfect fit.”

Taft has approximately 600 students, and it costs boarding students over $56,000 per year.

Steve Trimper said his daughters will receive financial aid, and one of the key reasons for the move came down to a “safety issue” while playing ice hockey for Bangor High.

“The girls took hits and bounced right up and, sometimes, they initiated contact,” Trimper said. “But Ally weighs 112 pounds and Morgan is 120, and if they run into a 200-pound senior, even if it’s accidental, it may not end well.”

There is no body checking in girls hockey.

They also will be living within a half-hour of their grandmother, Barbara D’Agostino.

The girls said they benefitted significantly from playing on the boys hockey team because the speed and physicality required them to keep their heads up and make quick decisions with the puck. They probably would have received more ice time next season.

The girls said they will miss their friends, and Steve Trimper said his daughters have had a wonderful experience in athletics and academics at Bangor High.