The Hotchkiss-Taft rivalry brings out the best in competition between the two schools, and this year’s edition of Taft Day was no exception.
The two schools battled each other to a 6-6 draw on field and court at Hotchkiss, and only a strong effort by the cross country programs allowed Hotchkiss to eke out a narrow 9-7 victory in 2019.
Field hockey led the way for Hotchkiss, sweeping all three games. The varsity earned a crucial 1-0 victory over the Rhinos in one of the early games, helping to secure their tournament seed for Wednesday. The JV and thirds teams played in two of the late games, earning convincing 4-2 and 5-0 victories, respectively.
Inside, all three volleyball teams battled in tough matches, with both schools winning a total of seven sets between them. The JV volleyball team pulled out a 3-1 victory in an early match, while the varsity and thirds teams dropped tough five-set matches.
On the soccer pitch, the boys thirds team finished the season with their ninth straight win, beating Taft 4-1. The girls varsity provided some of the more dramatic moments on the day, scoring in the last five minutes of regulation to win their game 2-1 and help book the #5 seed in this year’s NEPSAC tournament. The boys varsity, boys JV, and girls JV soccer teams played hard but dropped their contests.
The football game is traditionally one of the last events of the day, and the two teams played in another memorable contest. The Bearcats took a 20-19 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but were unable to hold it, with the Rhinos scoring a late touchdown to book a 25-20 win, leaving the day’s competition tied here on campus.
At NMH, the two cross country varsity and JV teams all raced in this year’s New England championships. The boys varsity earned a decisive win, finishing fourth compared to Taft’s eighth-place finish. The JV race was much closer, with the Bearcats finishing eighth, just one place better than the Rhinos.
On the girls side, Taft edged out Hotchkiss by just three points and a single place in the varsity race, but the girls JV team earned a fourth-place finish, which bested Taft by two places and secured the overall win on Taft Day for Hotchkiss.