Hockey Team Begins Season in New League

by Ryan LeBlanc, Staff Writer

Glen Rock High School hockey has competed in the Big North since 2003. On December 6th they will begin their season against Summit, and compete in a whole new league compared to past years. The team will now be playing in the NJIC. The hockey team has won five Big North League championships. I currently play on the team and in the past three years, we have one a state championship and have made two state semi-final appearances. I believe that the Glen Rock hockey community should have more of a say in the transfer from the Big North to the NJIC, especially since we have accomplished a lot.


All of Glen Rock High School’s varsity teams participate in the NJIC. The Big North enforced a rule where all of the varsity teams would have to join the Big North for hockey to stay. The Big North consists of schools such as Fair Lawn, Ridgewood, Mahwah, Ramsey, River Dell, Indian Hills, Fort Lee and other schools in Bergen County (Big North High Schools). The competition would be slightly tougher for some sports, but it wouldn’t be the biggest change. 


The NJIC hockey league does not include the same teams that football or basketball would play in the NJIC. For example, the football team plays Garfield, Rutherford, Hawthorne and other schools within a close range of Glen Rock. In the NJIC for hockey, we will play teams that could be forty minutes away, like Summit, Madison, Chatham, Scotch-Plains Field, and other schools that aren’t as close as Hawthorne. Compared to playing in the Big North we play much closer schools, such as Ridgewood and Ramsey. The travel will be a hassle this year when the team will have to go forty minutes away from Glen Rock. On the weekends the hockey team is not provided buses, which means that seniors will have to drive or parents. This wouldn’t a problem if you only had to drive fifteen minutes to the rink, but it isn’t the best idea to have students drive forty minutes away after a game at night. Overall a reason that the hockey team should stay in the Big North is that it is more convenient for parents, students, and players. 


All varsity sports have accomplished a lot and have worked hard every year.  One of the reasons why the hockey team has to move out of the Big North was because of the concern that other Glen Rock varsity sports would not do well in the Big North. The school mainly had concerns with the football team and the struggles that they would have competing in the Big North. Glen Rock played Mahwah in the state championship in 2016 and lost 38-13. I do believe that most of the other teams in the school could compete and win games in the Big North. I understand that football is an important sport for the school, but that is one sport out of all of the other varsity sports. The boy’s soccer team helps prove my belief. They won the county tournament last season. The county consists of many Big North teams and talented private schools. The soccer team beat Don Bosco and a Big North Ramsey team in the county final. The boys made it to the state championship that year but came up short. This is an example of one of our varsity teams that have the talent to play in the Big North and win games. The baseball team this past season has played Big North teams and stayed with them the whole game. Against Ridgewood who was four in the county, Glen Rock took them to extra innings and lost by one-off of a walk-off base hit rbi. Another example is the girl’s soccer team who battled the number one team Ramapo and only lost by one in a hard-fought game. These varsity teams can compete with Big North Schools. The hockey team has a point why the NJIC is an unnecessary move. 


The hockey team will miss the intense rivalries that we had in the Big North. The heated Glen Rock versus Ramsey matchup will be missed. These games drew massive student sections which made the rivalry even more intense. The history with Ramsey will be missed, after battling the Rams in a state championship, multiple league championships, and state playoff games.