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Field hockey meets ice hockey in "Fire and Ice" game at Bishop O'Connell

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Have you ever wondered what would happen if the field hockey and ice hockey teams met on the same playing field? That’s what happened at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington Sept. 25.
For the first time ever, O’Connell’s varsity field hockey and ice hockey teams played — girls against boys — in the “Fire and Ice” game, a match created to raise money for cystic fibrosis research.
Students, faculty and parents crowded together in the stands for an action-packed game as players ran down the field trying to gain the upper hand.
As the battle raged on, the boys’ ice hockey team clashed their way forward and surprised nearly everyone in the stands as junior Garrison O’Donnell scored the first goal of the game.
“Our bench went crazy,” said junior Kyle Leverone, who played goalie for his team. “After the goal, our entire team got in a straight line, sat down and started paddling their sticks like they were in a boat. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”
The guys, in all their spirit for the cause, played in field hockey skirts. The scene was good for quite a few laughs among the female players.
“It was hilarious,” said junior Aubrey Donohue, from the field hockey team.
Despite the boys’ efforts, the girls outplayed their opponents 4-2.
It can be argued that the field hockey team held an unfair advantage. Yet this has only made the boys just as determined as ever to come back strong in what they hope will be round two next year.
Both teams agreed on supporting a cause near and dear to the spirit of O’Connell — finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.
O’Connell students have been contributing to the cause for more than 40 years through the annual Superdance, a 12-hour fundraising dance-a-thon.
“I had an unbelievable amount of fun that night,” said Leverone. “But it’s more personal for the hockey team because our assistant coach, Danny Bessette, has (cystic fibrosis).”
Bessette, a 2002 alumnus of O’Connell, was on the varsity ice hockey team when he was in high school. Today, he continues to struggle with this disease. He had a double lung transplant in December 2016.
“The game was important to me because it was a really great experience that got a lot of the student body involved,” said Donohue. “It was so fun to see the school community coming together to watch and laugh at all the mishaps. The school spirit was insane and I think we should do this every year.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017