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State's Only Female Boys Hockey Coach Fuels Resurgent Season

Meg Hishmeh has guided Montville High to a 13-1-1 start after the team won just four games last season.

Meg Hishmeh on the bench during a game. / Photo courtesy of Zlotnik
Meg Hishmeh on the bench during a game. / Photo courtesy of Zlotnik
Meg Hishmeh does not care about making history, she just wants to coach.

Hishmeh, a Kinnelon resident, is the only woman to coach a high school boys hockey team in the state this season.

"I just love coaching hockey," the first-year Montville High coach said. "I never wanted to establish any firsts. I love the game and this has been an amazing experience for me from Day 1."

Hishmeh is originally from Michigan. She played hockey at the University of Vermont and started coaching after graduating.

"I've always been around the game. I have a lot of passion for the game," she said. "I enjoy coaching the kids and getting them to learn more about the game."

Whatever Hishmeh is doing seems to be working. The team is 13-1-1 this season. The boys won only four games last season. But she is quick to deflect any credit for the team's success onto her players.

"The players are completely dedicated and disciplined. They want to get to the state tournament. We haven't been there in three years," Hishmeh said. "They know they have a lot of talent and their drive to succeed gets me excited."

Hishmeh also coaches pee-wee hockey. While she understands that hockey isn't the most popular sport to just pick up and play, she appreciates the passion her players have for it."

"Skating is no the easiest thing to do and it's a more difficult sport to come into in high school if you haven't played when you're younger. Not everyone gets exposed to skating as youngsters," Hishmeh said. "It's a complicated sport, but once you go to your first game and learn how to follow the puck, you can follow the play."

She teaches her players that, regardless of what position they play, they have a responsibility to play two-way hockey.

"No matter what position you are you are expected to play offense and defense in order for the whole team to come together and try to win," Hishmeh said.

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