Cougar Weekend 2016

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

The biggest Chatham sports weekend is upon us. Cougar Weekend will be starting October 4 and will be ending October 8. Cougar Weekend, which will be occurring earlier than usual this year, is the most talked about event in Chatham in the fall. Almost all Chatham residents attend at least one of the weekend’s events, which includes all fall sports. The atmosphere at Cougar Weekend, regardless of which event it is, is incredible. It is a weekend in which the town of Chatham comes together through its athletics. The following is a rundown of what to expect the first full week of October.

Chatham High’s Athletic Director Bill Librera stated he expects proper sportsmanship to be displayed throughout the week and a positive atmosphere from the fans. He talked about the scheduling of Cougar Weekend saying, “it has to do with our matrix and be least intrusive to our conferences.”

Starting on the fourth of October, the first Tuesday in the month, the Varsity tennis team will be facing New Providence at Colony Tennis Courts.

The following day is a volleyball marathon, with the freshman, JV and varsity teams all playing back to back starting at 4:00PM until 8:30PM in Chatham’s A/B gym. Morris Hills will face the freshman and JV teams, while Roxbury is facing the varsity team. Roxbury is currently one of the top 20 teams in the state. This will be the second meeting between Chatham and Roxbury this year.

Cougar Field will see its first action on Thursday the sixth. The Lady Cougars field hockey teams, both JV and Varsity will face Montville at 5:00PM and 7:00PM, respectively. This will be an inter-division game between two teams with very similar records. Sophomore Annie Leverich stated in an interview that she “expects this game to be a close one.” She continued to state that, “This is a divisional game I’d love to win.”

Both the girls and boys Varsity soccer teams will face Caldwell Friday night under the lights. The ladies will kick off at 6:00PM, and the men are set to start at 8:00PM. The girls’ team is currently hovering around .500. The men’s team is off to a rough start and had trouble finding their first win early in the season. Aedan Joel, who will be playing in his first Cougar Weekend this year, says the beginning to his season has been “difficult and rough.” He goes on to add, “I hope we can come out strong and get a win in front of the large crowd.”

Saturday night, the most popular night of the weekend, the Varsity football team will be facing West Essex at 7:00PM. “West Essex always has a good team, so you can never really underestimate them,” sophomore Nick Vivona said in an interview. Vivona has seen loads of playing time as an offensive and defensive lineman this season. The Cougars knocked off West Essex last season in the playoffs 45-6 in a game that seemed to be Chatham’s game from the start. Chatham, who lost over 20 seniors last season, hopes to regain momentum after a slow start to their 2016 season. “No one on the team was happy with losing the first two games of the season. Barringer and [Parsippany] Hills were both tough losses,” Vivona continued, “hopefully we go into Cougar Night with a win or two in our back pocket.”

Cougar Nation, Chatham’s loud and passionate student section, will be in attendance for most, if not all, events. Cougar Nation’s sheer volume and intimidation always makes it a living nightmare for the opposing team, regardless of the sport.

Chatham High School President Mr. Groh stated that a decision has not yet been made on whether or not the breathalyzers will be in place.