The Roxbury High School Ice Hockey Season Has Been Delayed Again!


Photo courtesy of Gaelvision.

Effective December 5, Governor Murphy has put a ban on all indoor sports. As the winter season is right around the corner and, most, if not all, of the winter sports in Roxbury High School have been delayed. 

The Roxbury Hockey team was set to start their tryouts on the 14th of December. Games were to be played a few weeks later, during the Winter Break time period. There is going to be a ten league game season consisting of competitors who are part of their division. Roxbury looks hopeful to go far this year in the Halvorsen Division. 

However about a week before tryouts, on December 4th, Governor Murphy postponed hockey to January 2, 2021. He isn’t allowing any practices or events to be held indoors so the hockey team’s captain’s on- ice practices were also cancelled. Coach Benbow explained that this is his first delayed season that he has taken part in at any level. As is for many winter sports teams, the idea of actually getting a full hockey season looks less and less promising as COVID-19 numbers rise. Plus, our school is now fully virtual.

Although some people don’t have high hopes for this shortened season, many of them believe that safety should be the number one priority of all the players. Coach Benbow agrees, saying: “If a delayed start keeps everyone safe, then I support this approach.” That being said, his number one focus is to have a season to compete in during which his players can continue to work on their skills and improve. and become better. Then, he will be looking to go far in the Halvorsen Cup run. 

Along with the season delay, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) will not be holding a state playoff this year. As the projected number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, a safe playoff season does not seem possible. This is anything but normal for our Roxbury Hockey team. Every year, the team pushes to be above .500 win percentage so they can make the State playoffs. This must be completed before the first 14 games of the season; however, there will most likely not be 14 regular season league games. Along with that abnormality, fans will not be allowed at the games this year and there will most likely not be a charity game. The charity game, described by one player, is said to “get the boys on the team rowdy.” These are just some of the sad truths of this season for the team.  

Many people seem to be very optimistic about having a season later down the line— at one point this year. They don’t know when that will be, but some are saying that the comeback is always greater than the setback. The boys look forward to getting back on the ice after practicing outdoors and off the ice for months. They are eager to go out and win every game this season. They believe in a comeback that is very well possible for them in a hopefully near future.

Coach Benbow coach also looks forward to making some normality out of these last nine months by getting back into the rhythm of being on the ice everyday at 2:30. He is happy that there will be a season for his seniors, even if it isn’t what they are used to. We look forward to seeing how this all plays out when the Governor will hopefully give the Gaels Ice Hockey team a chance to win big starting on January 2nd. We will see how the boys respond to such little pre-season time when they finally get back on the ice after a month without skating. Good luck to the Ice Hockey team this season and bring home the cup. Go Gaels!