High School friends reunite for 40-year hockey tradition on Black Friday

ByTrish Hartman via WPVI logo
Saturday, November 28, 2015
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High school friends reunite to carry on 40-year Black Friday tradition of playing hockey in Lansdale.

LANSDALE, Pa. (WPVI) -- A few minutes before 10 a.m., players began to arrive Friday at Montgomery Fellowship Park in Lansdale, Pa.

The basketball court became a hockey rink, and about a dozen childhood friends continued a 40-year tradition.

"I think we're still pretty competitive. Sometimes we still argue over goals and that kind of thing," said Mike Rhue of Lansdale. "It's just gotten a little slower."

The group of guys all graduated from North Penn High School in 1975. They went to different colleges, but always came home for Thanksgiving.

Hockey became their go-to Black Friday activity, thanks to Tom Morrissey, who moved to Lansdale from Boston, where the sport was all the rage.

"It was starting to catch on fire down here with the Flyers so timing was great. I met a lot of wonderful friends here, and we just started playing street hockey," said Morrissey.

For something that's been going on for 40 years, there's very little planning involved.

There's an open invitation to show up at 10 a.m. on Black Friday at the park. One of the players came from Denver, Colorado - missing Thanksgiving with his family - just for the reunion.

"My wife is very supportive. She's met everybody here, realizes how important this is and she thought it was a great idea," said Bud Rockhill of Golden, Colorado.

It's even a tradition for Morrissey's 93-year-old mother, Marion, who always stops by.

"I think it's wonderful. I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Marion Morrissey. "I didn't do that with any of my school friends. And yet these boys have clung to this."

They play until they get tired, and then they eat lunch. It's a Black Friday tradition they said isn't really just about hockey.

"These are true friends, and they'll help you out whenever you need anything. As life throws its challenges they're there for you, and during the course of the year so it's great guys," said Bob Law of Towamencin Township, Pa.