Dickenson, Gill face off in field hockey, maintain friendship


Photo courtesy of Kiera Gill.

Best friends Dickenson, far left, and Gill, third from left, play for opposing teams during a game.

Mia Gallo

Friendly competition takes on a different meaning from the halls of CHS to the field, court or pool.

CHS students hail from 64 different towns in Monmouth County and tend to face off in sporting events while playing for their home high schools.

Juniors and field hockey players Kate Dickenson of Spring Lake Heights and Kiera Gill of Wall play for Manasquan and Wall High School respectively. Although Dickenson and Gill describe themselves as best friends, these schools have a longstanding rivalry.

The pair are technically rivals on the field, but they said they always root for each other. If either one of them makes a mistake during the game, the other is quick to offer some positive feedback to lift her up.

“Last season in my game against Manasquan I made a silly mistake and Kate could see that I was frustrated with myself, so she said, ‘You got it, Kiera. You’re doing great,’ and it was really good to hear that because in that moment I needed a boost,” Gill said.

The match-ups between their teams are very intense and happen quite often, giving the girls time to learn how to deal with the face-offs.

“We played each other twice this season since we were in the same division,” Dickenson said.

The girls don’t let the tension between their teams go to their heads.

“There is competition, of course, but in the end of a hard game we know that we both gave it our all regardless of the outcome, and we are able to joke about it,” Gill said.

Both girls want to play field hockey in college and agree that being able to share stories about their experiences with recruiting makes the process easier and less stressful. The pair concurs that either keeping up the rivalry or being teammates in college would be great for their friendship.

“It would be really funny to be rivals yet again,” Dickenson said.