Dignazio siblings support each other at the rink

Sophomore and senior siblings enjoyed the opportunity to skate for the same team—for the first and last time.


Kelly Montague '25

Sophomore Annie Dignazio and senior Nick Dignazio play both play for the Haven boys hockey team this season.

Kelly Montague '25, Contributor

In the cool, brisk, sweat-scented air of the Central League ice rinks, this 2023 hockey season was a unique one, especially for siblings Nick and Annie Dignazio. 

This year, sophomore Annie Dignazio was invited to play up with the boys hockey team, which meant joining her older brother and captain, senior Nick Dignazio. 

“It’s a super cool experience,” Annie said. “It’s definitely something I never thought I would do, to play with my brother. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it’s just very different than the girls high school team. It’s more competition.”

Annie has been playing on the girls Pennhaven hockey team since eighth grade, and still participates today. This team combines middle and high school girls from Penncrest and Strath Haven. However, now that she plays for both the boys and girls teams, the game is transformed for both Annie and Nick—siblings who admire each others’ skills as varsity athletes.

“Most of the time, I don’t even need to look. I could just get the puck and throw it across the ice, and she should be there because [she’s] probably one of the fastest kids in the league,” Nick said.

Both Dignazio siblings have been athletes since their early ages—playing soccer, lacrosse, and hockey. Nick continued with varsity soccer and varsity hockey in high school, as well as a Tier 1 club hockey schedule with the Little Flyers. As a sophomore, Annie plays on three varsity teams—soccer, lacrosse, and hockey. They both earned All-Delco honors in soccer in their most recent seasons.

But it is extraordinarily rare for a brother and sister to play on the same Central League varsity team—especially one as physically demanding as hockey. 

Their sibling relationship is established within the league. Everyone knows to tread lightly with them. 

Nick recalls a time when a Conestoga player checked Annie hard.

“This kid, like, smoked her. And of course she’s playing a men’s varsity sport, she’s going to get hit,” Nick said. “But it was kind of a dirty hit, and I just kind of let loose. I didn’t get a penalty because I’ve been playing [hockey] for like, ten years. So I know how to deal with these situations.” 

Nick found the jersey number of the player who hit Annie. 

“So next shift, I go out there, and before I go on the ice, I’m like, ‘Yo Annie, watch this,’ and then I just smoked him…And he was kind of shaken up for a bit, he didn’t go back into the game for seven minutes,” he said.

Annie recalls another huge moment for the duo from this season during Senior Night—a favorite moment for both siblings. 

“My favorite memory [from the season] probably was the Springfield game when I got chucked into the net, and then Nick scored but I didn’t know,” she said. “I got up and looked around, and then I went into the pile and [Nick] broke away from the pile and hugged me.”

It ended up being the game-winning shot, ending a wonderful night to celebrate the seniors, taking a victory 3-2 over Springfield.

“I never thought I’d play on a team with Nick. I’ve been planning my senior year with Tessa, my little sister. We’ll play soccer, lacrosse together. She might play hockey,” Annie said. “But I never could have imagined that I played with Nick and I’m so grateful to play with him.”