The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

A Competition Beyond The Field

An inside look into a long-standing town-fueled rivalry
Bob Park
Offensive lineman and players crowd around Kinnelon Coach Jake Grande in the last 1:37 of Kinnelon vs. Pequannock.

High school rivalries have to be some of the most exciting parts of secondary schooling: two teams, town communities, and identities clash before a crowd, showcasing their awesome talent. However, no rivalries hit as close to home to KHS students as the one with Pequannock. 

Kinnelon, which used to be a part of Pequannock Township until 1922, developed itself in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a small, yet worthy town. Just a couple minutes down Rt. 23 South and the parent town of Pequannock looked upon its child, watching it mature and grow in population (as well as high median income) until the two were placed into nearly every sports division possible for every sport offered at each school. It was almost as if they could not get away from each other…and thus the small-town rivalry was created.

Sports are a huge aspect that propels this rivalry forward; Kinnelon and Pequannock play in nearly every division within every sport. The two towns cannot seem to get away from each other. 

“We’re in every division that they’re in; everyone knows who’s who on the other team, and that is what causes the choppiness in games,” said junior Andrew Corrado. Corrado, a member of the Kinnelon lacrosse team, retells of a game against the Pequannock Panthers in their 9-7 thriller win last year at home. The game started choppy and tight, as the Kinnelon Colts were the ones who scored three in the last quarter to end the magnificent showing of team spirit and pride.  

Another example of this is during the 2023-2024 football season, as Kinnelon walked off the field after a tough 28-21 loss to the Panthers, members of both the student section and football team hurled insults and words of hate towards the Kinnelon team as they loaded the bus home. 

However, what do the Pequannock kids think about Kinnelon? After all, no rivalry is only one-sided. 

“It seems like a great town and great community, but the competitiveness and the fact that we both have small schools takes everything to a whole other level,” says Pequannock High School student junior Chas Messina. “We think low of Kinnelon but they have to think the same about us, you know? That’s where that rivalry happens.”

In regards to the October football game, Pequannock senior and starting quarterback Tyler DeNaples explained what it meant to him. 

“I think our rivalry is great; I’ve played for years against Kinnelon in every sport, and the fight between the towns is fueled by the kids that know each other. Whether it was playing against family or friends, you always wanted to win.”

“It [The rivalry] is something I was really glad to be a part of”-Tyler DeNaples

The rivalry does not even stop there. Pequannock students and Kinnelon students have decided to put up their respective town’s “Barstool Accounts” satire Instagram accounts used to promote and ridicule indecent behavior, and, of course, jab at both sides of the rivalry. According to the @nockbarstool account on Instagram, they “hate the stable,” in reference to the Kinnelon Colts. 

Regardless of the tomfoolery that goes online and between student sections, some good can come out of this. A rivalry can have its good moments.

“I think it is a very competitive, but fun rivalry,” said recent 1000-point scorer Nick Canariato. “The only good thing about our rivalry is that the games are never really blowouts; the fans come for a fun atmosphere.” 

Upon Canariato’s basket that gained him his 1000th point of his career on Wednesday of last week, the Kinnelon away fans cheered in celebration as he hit this milestone. The Pequannock home fan section held their criticisms, clapping and applauding the young man on an amazing achievement. Hostility between both sides is solved between acknowledgment of feats.

It is an oddity; perhaps the high schoolers of Kinnelon and Pequannock like each other, but when it comes to the field, their drive for competition and the win may triumph over these feelings of allegiance to themselves, and more to their town. 

Can the rivalry ever be settled? Can one town come out on top? Or will the rivalry just develop into a tug-of-war battle where every couple sports, one town’s dominance will shine over the other? Luckily, some of us will not be around for that shift; it is time just to sit back and enjoy the show before us. 

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