Glen Rock Soccer: A Season Like No Other

Over the past few years, the Glen Rock Panthers boys’ varsity soccer team has seen great success on the soccer pitch. The 2018 season was arguably the best by any team in Glen Rock High School history: the group won their league and the county championship, and they reached the state finals.

The team followed suit with another successful campaign in the 2019 season with yet another league title and a state semi-final appearance, but they were eliminated in the first round of the county tournament by Northern Highlands.

The experienced Panthers are on their way for another promising season, led by senior captains Dylan Vila, Jason Kapiloff, and Dylan O’Malley. Junior Kenneth Vergel de-Dios was also given the title of captain.

Players and coaches alike will have to adapt to many new circumstances over the course of the season due to COVID-19 regulations put in place by the NJSIAA.

“COVID makes us keep a 6-foot distance from each other, and we have to wear masks when we warm-up and stretch down,” says sophomore forward Owen Neubart.  “We also have to wash pinnies after we use them, and we also bring in three colored shirts, so we do not have to wash the pinnies as much.” 

Both Neubart and captain O’Malley remain confident that although the team lost some practice time in the early stages of the summer that they will still have great team chemistry. Their practice schedules have remained the same from years prior, and the drills they do assist the players to not only improve their skills but get to know their teammate’s strengths and weaknesses.

The schedule has been altered in some ways for the Panthers this year: the county tournament has been canceled for all of Bergen County, and the amount of league games for the Panthers has been cut from around 20 to about 12.

The Panthers play in the NJIC and will face off against schools including Hawthorne, Eastern Christian, Butler, and Waldwick.

The good news for the team is that the state tournament schedule has not been affected, and if they continue the success that they have had over the past several seasons, they will once again compete for a state championship.

The Panthers kicked off their season yesterday, Oct. 1, 2020 versus Hawthorne Christian Academy. Although they dominated possession and had 28 shots on goal to Hawthorne Christian’s mere 6, the final whistle was blown with the score tied at 0-0. 

The Panthers will look to bounce back versus the Pompton Lakes Cardinals this coming Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. The game is at 4:15 p.m. at Lakeside Middle School in Pompton Lakes, NJ.



The 2020 Glen Rock High School girls’ soccer season has officially kicked off this year but with a bit of a twist. Later today at 4:15 p.m. the varsity team will play their season opener at Butler High School. The girls started practicing back on Sept. 14, just the second day of school. COVID-19 has had a big impact on their practices and upcoming season this year. There are special precautions to try and combat the virus that have been put into effect. The girls’ soccer team has to follow strict rules, but have persevered and have kept working hard. One of the rules is that you have to wear a mask on the sideline, bus, and anywhere not on the field. The only exception to not having to wear a mask is when they are on the field. They are also not allowed to share water or pinnies while at practice or games. The games’ rules have also been changed due to the virus. Players can receive penalties for getting too close to the referee on the field because nobody has a mask on. There is also a change in the girls’ schedule for this year.

Stella Traphagan, a varsity sophomore, says, “In the beginning, it was a lot harder due to COVID-19, but it’s getting easier to deal with.”

This year they will only have 10 games opposed to their regular 15 or 16 game season. The state also eliminated the big county tournament that they compete in annually, as they did with the boys’ team. The girls JV squad plays their first game of the year tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. against Hasbrouck Heights at home. The next girls’ varsity game after their opener is Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 4:15 p.m. against Manchester regional.