You can see some pretty fancy ice sculpting at Fair In The Square today, but if you want to see guys who really carve the ice, head to Codey Arena at 5:45 p.m. for the opening game of the Verona-Glen Ridge Hockey team.
There’s a mix of new and old on the team this year. Andor Kish, a technology teacher at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, is the team’s new head coach. Kish spent four years as the team’s assistant coach under Stephen Ruggiero, now the director of marketing at the Codey Arena. The “old” can be found in the experience on the team’s roster, which includes 10 seniors from the two towns, including V-GR’s co-captains from Verona, Greg Schiffenhaus and Joe Fitzmaurice.
Kish believes that the hockey program’s efforts to develop players at a younger age will finally pay off: There are nine freshman skating hockey this year. “We have a lot of depth on the team,” he says, noting players like sophomores Bobby Maguire and Ryan Flood. “We shouldn’t wear down as fast.” What’s more, he says, these players all know each other well. “They’ve been skating together for years.”
In addition to its in-conference games against teams like MKA, Nutley and West Orange, the team will take on several very strong outside rivals, like Morris Knolls on January 5. “We play the tougher out-of-conference teams so we know what to expect when it comes to the playoffs,” says Kish.
The coach believes this mix of old and new could be enough to help Verona to win its conference–and get a shot at the state semi-finals. “That’s where we were two years ago,” he notes.
If you can’t make the game this weekend, then plan on being at Codey on December 11 at 3:45 p.m. when the V-GR team takes on a Canadian team, Kennebecasis Valley High School. It’s the first time that V-GR has ever played a Canadian team.