Frenemies on Ice

Sophia Salazar, staff writer

For years, New Providence and Governor Livingston have been each other’s rivals in athletics and constantly go head to head. Whether it’s football, baseball, or basketball, each game is always evenly matched and causes an uproar in the student sections. However, the two rivals have united to create the GL Ice Hockey team.

New Providence joined GL when players from NP wanted to play hockey, but there wasn’t a team for them at NPHS.  The only logical thing to do was  for the bitter rivals to join forces. 

It has definitely been a process.  Players from two rival towns have had to adapt to playing with each other.

It’s harder for some than others, but isn’t a problem for GL sophomore Daltry Ferrigno: “It felt weird at the beginning of last year since I was a Freshman and didn’t know half of the guys on my team. But, there’s no tension between the two towns and I enjoy playing with everyone on my team.” 

Compromises have to be made on and off the ice.  Even the name of the team can be considered controversial because it doesn’t represent NP.

However, Sophomore Jackson Benward from New Providence doesn’t really see it as an issue: “I know that I play for GL and their high school so I don’t mind the name because we joined their program, and if they joined ours, it would be called NP Ice Hockey. ”

Despite coming from rival schools, some of these athletes actually have a positive history together.  Benward and Ferrigno have known each other for years and play on the same club hockey team, The Union Thunder.

 “We constantly talk about which school is better and try to prove it through sports in kind of a fun and competitive way,” Ferrigno said.

Both sophomores agree that the rivalry between the two towns has changed for the better through the hockey team.

“Players and fans don’t have the same mindset that we used to have because everyone’s trying to achieve the same goal and we’re all just on the same team,” said Benward.

Regardless of the towns they live in and the difference of varsity jackets, all GL Ice Hockey players play as one team and don’t let it affect their game. Their energies and positive attitudes contribute to their success and help them work better as a team. 

The proof of that is the success of the current team, who currently have a 9-3-1 record under head coach, Michael Criscitello, an NPHS teacher.