Coginchaug Doesn’t Need a Rivalry


Members of the Coginchaug Volleyball team in the Dig Pink game against North Branford on October 21st.

Does Coginchaug need a rivalry?

The answer, in short, is no. But overall, it’s much more of a complicated issue.

There are many types of rivalries, but in high school there are two main ones: cross town and inter town. In Connecticut, we can see many of these. Crosstown rivals include Hall vs Conard in West Hartford, Maloney vs Platt in Meriden, and Lyman Hall vs Sheehan in Wallingford. Intertown rivals include Cheshire and Southington, Guilford and Hand (Madison), as well as New London and Norwich play in the longest current rivalry game in the nation, having played each other since 1875.

The athletic department a few years ago decided to create a rivalry out of what was seemingly nothing. Out of all schools to pick from the Shoreline, from another two town school in Haddam-Killingworth to fellow non-Shoreline schools Cromwell and Portland, they picked North Branford. They named it the “Battle for Route 17”, since both town’s main road is Route 17. This rivalry seems incredibly forced between the two athletic departments. No grudge ever has existed between the two schools or the two towns, for my knowledge.

Does any student consider North Branford a rival of Coginchaug? Most students here don’t really understand why our rival is North Branford. Even in my experience interacting with students from North Branford, they don’t consider Coginchaug a rival. Sure, we both play the annual Dig Pink volleyball game against each other, but that’s a community building experience. Both teams are together in unity for that game.

If Durham and Middlefield had separate high schools, there’s no doubt in my mind that we would be rivals. Two towns which have been so intertwined that a natural rivalry will form. Yet, we’re stronger as a unified school district and combined community. Every friend group is combined between kids from both towns. Each town is equally important to our community.

So to all future athletic directors and student athletes. I have one piece of advice.

We don’t have a rival: don’t try to make one out of nothing.