Rivalries on ice: different schools, one goal, one team


Among the honors won by the Central Indiana Knights was a 2023 Hoosier League Championship. The team came into the year as the defending state tournament winners.

Maria Celis and Andie Harmon

Rivals outside the rink, teammates on the ice. The Knights Hockey team is a combination of many different schools, all playing for one club team. This is unusual for most sports, as these schools often compete against each other, not with each other. This can prove to be difficult for the athletes, having to play with people they’ve never met yet still having great success. 

Senior Mason Cramer, number 17, has been playing for the Knights for two years as a defenseman and has played with many kids from different schools. The team is made up of dozens of schools throughout central Indiana; however, it only includes players from five schools this season: Noblesville, Cathedral, Guerin Catholic, Park Tutor, and Bishop Chatard.

The game of hockey consists of teamwork and communication. Many players say that to play a good game of hockey, it’s important to get along with teammates. Although there are many different players coming from different schools, the team seems to get along, explained coach Funk.

“People show their passion, people have their different opinions, and sometimes it shows on the ice but there are rarely any issues,” Cramer said.

Junior Max Johns has been playing for the Knights for three years and admires the relationship between teammates on the team. Johns does not believe any school rivalry it shows on the ice.

 “I can’t think of two players that dislike each other, we value a good Dynamic,” Johns said.  

The team has put great effort into building a bond as a group according to Johns they also hang out during the off-season and continue to grow as a team, when making a team it is important to create relationships and bonds amongst the players.

“We go out of our way to hang out together outside of practices and games,” Johns said. “We’ll do team dinners and banquets, just getting with all of the team and reflecting on the season ahead.”

It is rare for conflict to arise on the ice between teammates according to Cramer, as many of them have played together for some time and they know how to work together. 

“Lucky for our team, many of us have played together for a very long time. Some of us have never played against each other,” Cramer said.

The Knights Coach, J.T. Funk has been coaching for 10 years now. He says that in the beginning the team wasn’t perfect, they needed to adapt to one another and grow off of each other, finding their roots and bonding with each other. 

“It’s been good to see the boys struggle at the beginning and then they started to find their group and started to get to know each other a little bit better and fight each other on and off the ice,” Funk said.

With all members of The Knights coming from rival schools, it would be expected to see some controversies between the teammates. However, this team has learned how to put any possible fallouts aside. 

“Our captains do a good job of settling any disputes that might come along the team,” Johns said.

With the help of their captains and coaches they have learned the fact that the team is what matters and there is nothing time on the ice can’t fix. 

The Knights wrapped up the hockey season accomplishing great things, starting with finishing first in their conference and winning the Hoosier League Tournament. They managed to be the fourth seed overall in the state out of over forty teams, With all of these accomplishments this was the Knights most successful season to date.