Pascack Valley and Old Tappan get set at the line of scrimmage. (Molly Heintze)
Pascack Valley and Old Tappan get set at the line of scrimmage.

Molly Heintze

Who is Pascack Valley’s biggest rival?

October 14, 2020

Yankees-Red Sox. Lakers-Celtics. Duke-UNC. 

Every sports team has an opponent that drives it a little further. An opponent whose games it circles on the schedule at the beginning of the season. A matchup that means more than any other matchup, no matter what each team’s record is at the time.

All of these qualities can be summed up in one word: rival.

From high school to the pros, there are a multitude of rivalries in every league. No team is excluded from this. And there is no better indicator of a rivalry between two teams than each fanbase’s perception of it. After all, rivalries are not a one-way street; one fanbase can resent a certain opponent, but if the feeling is not mutual, the relationship between those two teams cannot be considered a “rivalry.”

Thus, the question arises: who do Pascack Valley students consider to be PV’s biggest rival?

Inspired by a poll conducted by Western Carolina University Associate Professor David Tyler and Northern Kentucky University Associate Professor Joe B. Cobbs, the PV Student Publication sent a survey to the entire PV student body in February 2020, alloting each voter 100 total points to allocate between four local schools (as well as an “other” option). 

The survey’s directions read as follows:

The form received 140 responses, 125 of which were filled out correctly and therefore counted towards the final results. 

Of the 125 eligible respondents, 17 were freshmen during the 2019-20 school year, when the poll was conducted, while 25 were sophomores, 43 were juniors, and 38 were seniors. Two teachers submitted ratings as well.

And without further ado, let’s get to the results.

Old Tappan

Notable Matchup Results:

Girls Soccer – W (1-0), 2020

Boys Soccer – L (3-1), 2020

Football – L (21-12), 2019

Girls Basketball – L (59-52), 2019 playoffs


Notable Matchup Results:

Football – L (41-6), 2020

Football – L (28-23), 2019 playoffs; L (41-6), 2020

Boys Basketball – L (62-42), 2019 playoffs

Boys Soccer – L (1-0), 2019 playoffs

Pascack Hills

Notable Matchup Results:

Wrestling – W (36-25), 2019

Girls Volleyball – L (2-0), 2019

Boys Basketball – L (63-43), 2019

River Dell

Notable Matchup Results:

Football – W (20-19), 2019

Girls Swimming – W (92-78), 2019 playoffs


Notable Matchup Results:

Football vs Paramus – W (38-27), 2019

Boys Soccer vs Paramus – W (6-2), 2019

Wrestling vs Paramus – L (43-27), 2019 playoffs

Football vs Demarest – W (41-0), 2019 playoffs

Girls Basketball vs Indian Hills – W (55-48), 2019

The Verdict

There you have it. The Pascack Valley community considers Northern Valley Old Tappan to be PV’s biggest rival – and it isn’t close. Like, at all.

But to be considered a true rivalry, the feeling must be reciprocated. Therefore, the PV Student Publication asked NVOT’s student newspaper, The Lance, to send out a poll to its student body, asking who the NVOT community considers to be the school’s biggest rival.

The results were clear:

The nemeses are set to meet a number of times over the next month, starting with a girls tennis match on Oct. 16. The boys and girls soccer teams will face off on Oct. 22 for the second time this season, serving as the schools’ final encounter until PV hosts the Golden Knights in the football regular season finale on Nov. 6.

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