Milford Hockey Team Changes Name

Mariners Set to Skate


Milford hockey player Luca Ubaldi gets called out pre-game. Photo courtesy of Chris Eadevito Photography

Aidan Davis, Oliver Ardrey

Aidan Davis

Oliver Ardrey

Staff Writers

     The Milford ice hockey team’s season will begin its 2020 season with a new name. Instead of the Milford Indians the team will now go by the name Milford Mariners.  The team’s colors have also changed to black and red to incorporate all three teams and their school colors. 

     The team name has changed because it was associated with racial discrimination towards a certain nationality, causing some people to become upset. The move mirrors similar changes being made at schools across the country, which are ditching names typically associated with Native American tribes.

     The change here is also in line with a decision by the National Football League’s Washington Redskins to call itself the Washington Football Team until it comes up with a new name.

     The Milford hockey team is a co-op team under the leadership of Coach Ken Mitchell, consisting of athletes from Joseph A. Foran High School, Jonathan Law High School, and Platt Technical High School.

     According to the Milford city website, before being called Milford, Connecticut, the land was known as Wepawaug and was occupied by the Paugussett Indians until the town was purchased in 1639 by European colonists.  Milford has a long history with Native Americans, and its hockey team was named after them — at least that was the case until now.  The Milford Ice Hockey Rebrand Committee was formed to look into the name change. From Foran, there are four players involved in the committee to change the name. There are three juniors — Jason Barile, Luca Ubaldi, and Joey Honcz, as well as sophomore, Chris Adkins.

     Barile states, “[The committee] did an online Google meet and survey. Every week we met with Law Athletic Director, Mr. VJ Sarullo, then discussed ideas.”

      Barile says the committee then “voted on Google forms” for the new name —Milford Mariners. 

     The name garnered more support than some of the other proposals: Milford Storm, Shipbuilders, Oysterman, Wave, Blades, Griffins, Blackhawks, and Tide. 

      A mariner is a name for a sailor, and since Milford is a coastal city on Long Island Sound, it was a perfect fit for the hockey team. 

      Barile says, “I think the final option for the new names is cool. The Milford Mariners has a nice ring to the ears; it’s cool and catchy, but also tough.”

      Adkins agrees, saying, “I like the name; it symbolizes Milford.”

      Honcz also agrees, and says, “I like the new name, and it really means something because we all worked together on figuring out what it should be. It took a lot of effort and time to get to the final decision, so I think it’s a name we all really liked.” All players who were interviewed say they approve of the new name and believe it will have a positive impact on the City of Milford. 

      The decision was made final on December 18 and a consensus was reached from the Re-Brand Committee.