Who is NVOT’s Greatest Rival?

Students and staff take a stand over the school’s defining opponents


Christine Massaro

Old Tappan has many ongoing rivalries against other schools. Which one is the greatest rival?

Pascack Valley. Ramapo. Demarest. Tenafly. Nothing gets the Golden Knights more fired up than facing a rival school. In a recent Lance survey, the student body concluded that Pascack Valley is OT’s biggest competitor (147 votes), with a margin of nearly 64 votes over the second highest voted school, Northern Valley Demarest, which had 83 votes. 

In last week’s Lance poll, 57% of the NVOT community named PV their greatest rival. (Jonah Kim)

However, even though the numbers show a clear winner as Pascack Valley, certain students, teachers, coaches, and administrators have voiced their opinions on who they truly think is OT’s greatest competitor. 


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  • Daniel Zhao, Junior: “I think NVD is our greatest rival because we are from the same district and obviously we have to assert our dominance over them in every way possible, whether through sports or academics.”

  • Seho Lee, Sophomore: “NVD is OT’s biggest rival because they are the opposing Northern Valley counterpart. The rivalry has been going on for many years and every NVOT vs NVD game is exciting. The winner of the rivalry answers the important question: Who’s the champ over the Northern Valley?”

  • Brian Dunn, Football & Girls Basketball Coach: “To me, a rival is your chief competitor. Someone who shows up year in and year out and brings the best out of you and you bring the best out of them. As far as I am concerned, that has been Pascack Valley for quite some time now. Demarest has not been a regular competitor of ours for some years now with the exception of a handful of sports. Certainly in track and volleyball and maybe one or two other sports, Demarest is a chief rival. However a school can’t be considered a rival when they only accept the challenge of rivalry competition at their own convenience. Overall school wise It’s Pascack Valley hands down. Been that way for over a decade. Anyone who says different hasn’t been paying attention.”

  • Ariana Lim, Junior: “I think that OT’s biggest sports rival has to be Demarest because of the fact that we are sister schools with them. Both schools are so similar but different in many ways and I think that the fact that we are “related” in a sense only adds to this rivalry. It’s almost like a sibling rivalry that never ends–once you start there’s almost never a stop to the competition between yourself and your sibling.”

  • Miles Tweedy, Senior: “I think that OT’s biggest rival has to be Demarest. Obviously NVD is OT’s sister school and I think that this adds to the overall competitive vibe that we both emit from playing games. From the perspective of a baseball player, there are definitely some games that we’ve played that were really close and fun to play. Not only baseball, but other sports teams can definitely agree with this rivalry so my best choice has to be Demarest.”

  • Christine Massaro, Assistant Girls Basketball Coach: “In my humble opinion, OT’s biggest sports rival is Pascack Valley. They are a league rival, a country rival, and a state sectional rival. The triple crown of rivalries! To boot, their campus is only 3 miles from ours, so there certainly is a familiarity with them. In some sports like volleyball people may say it’s Demarest as our main rival, but it’s really just in that one sport, and Coach Landeck’s teams have had the edge in that rivalry for sure. When it comes to PV, think of the soccer games, football games, basketball games, and wrestling matches we’ve had over the years with them. There is nothing else better than beating “The Team from Hillsdale” as Coach Dunn sometimes calls them in jest. You usually want to win on your home floor, but it’s a nice final dagger to defeat PV and then celebrate on their own court.”

  • Christina Foschino, Freshman: “Personally, I believe that NVD is OT’s biggest rival. Despite the majority arguing that PV is our rival, NVD has been our sister school since day one. Typically when thinking about rivals, it comes down to history. Historically we have been proving to NVD that we are the most elite Northern Valley school academically and physically.”

  • Joseph Maucieri, Junior: “Pascack Valley has to be the obvious choice for OT’s greatest rival. From football games to soccer matches to hockey games as well, I think collectively we can agree that PV has been a big opponent. We’ve had some great games we’ve had and just by looking at the crowd turnout in these games I think it’s quite obvious that PV is OT’s biggest rival.”

  • Thomas Kaechele, Athletic Director: “In my opinion, it is still Demarest HS. It is always satisfying to beat your sister school. Coaches and NVOT student-athletes hate to lose to NVD. Within the last decade, Pascack Valley has grown to be a really strong rivalry since they are almost as strong as us in ALL the girls and boys sports.”

  • Max Caunedo, Junior: “From the perspective of a student athlete, I think that PV would be OT’s greatest rival. One reason is that they are much closer than other schools like Ramapo, Tenafly, or NVD in terms of proximity, and I think the distance definitely plays a part in this. Also, for sports like soccer, we don’t really play many games against them so whenever we compete the games are usually very crowded on both sides. This definitely adds to this long held rivalry between PV.”

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