The Frisch School in Paramus, N.J., has dominated the state’s ice-hockey tournaments since it formed in 2015.
The Cougars have finished each year with a winning record, earning the high school team the distinction of being the state’s most successful, as well as the only one composed entirely of Jewish players.
These victories, coupled with the fact that many players’ friends and family live in Israel, have inspired a following in the Jewish state. When sophomore Noah Sosland received a nomination for New Jersey’s “Hockey 3 Stars of the Week” poll, he earned the most votes, with more than 1,000 coming from Israel. Some team members even sport Israeli flags on the backs of their helmets.
In 2022, the Cougars defeated Notre Dame High School to win its first state tournament. The team won the McMullen Cup in 2018 and 2021, as well as qualified every year for the non-public state tournament.
Come Oct. 7, the players had to grapple with what their brethren were going through and continue to confront during a war in full force.
“Hockey becomes an important outlet for them and for others,” said coach Ralph Abecassis. “The school has done a terrific job of discussing a difficult issue with the students. The school is so supportive of the team, and they know what something like this can do for the community.”
Sosland said the team hopes to “provide some hope to people when they don’t know where hope will come from” and that “we’re one family and we’re all together, even if they can’t physically be here with us.”