Last year former athletic director Mr. Tom Vara and athletic director Mr. David Fellini of Mount Olive High School discussed the idea of collaborating two winter sports teams. This team-up of the two schools was due to the fact that Hopatcong offers bowling and Mount Olive offers ice hockey; it was the perfect opportunity to improve both schools’ athletic programs.
Although Vera left HHS, new athletic director Mr. Chris Buglovsky did a great job of carrying over this collaboration, and now it is official. It was made public on the Chiefs Morning News Announcements that students are now able to join an ice hockey team for this school.
Students have already joined the team, and this new sport is capable of bringing in more prospective students to Hopatcong next school year, especially those who might have chosen a different route due to the high school’s lack of a hockey team.
Hopatcong Middle School 8th grader and travel hockey player Blake Corbett is an example of a student who may be joining the chief’s family because of this new collaboration. “I was shocked yet thrilled when Coach Venturino called with the news that Hopatcong now offers ice hockey. I knew it was going to be sad when I watched all my friends go to school in Hopatcong and knowing even if I wanted to I couldn’t because of hockey. It now is a great privilege that if I do decide this, I could go to high school in the same town I grew up in. I have a lot of decision making to do but I’m happy Hopatcong is now an option for me,” said Corbett.
The hockey team is going to remain Mount Olive Hockey Team. Buses are provided for both schools. According to junior and member of the new hockey team Bobby Juliano, Ice hockey practices are held after and before school at Aspen Ice Arena in Randolph.
The goal is to build this new sport up within the next couple of years and have it be just as big as every other sport this school has to offer.