After last weekend’s high school grid action, seven Hudson County teams have punched their tickets for next weekend’s NJSIAA state playoffs – a solid accomplishment indeed for the local teams.
Three local teams are headed for the post-season in the same exact section, namely the North Jersey Section 2, Group I bracket, where Secaucus, Lincoln and Hoboken have all qualified.
It could very well end up that Secaucus will play host to Lincoln in the first round next weekend, while Hoboken will head to the road to face either Dayton Regional or New Providence in first round action.
Two local teams are qualifiers in the North Jersey Section 1, Group IV bracket. By virtue of beating Union City last week, the North Bergen Bruins have earned at least the No. 3 seed in the bracket and will play their first home state playoff game in five years. The Bruins, winners of six straight games, will more than likely play host to Livingston next weekend.
And even though they lost to the Bruins, the Soaring Eagles of Union City have clinched a state playoff berth in coach Wilbur Valdez’s first season at the school. Despite their 4-4 record, the Soaring Eagles are in and will more than likely face top-seeded West Orange in the opening round.
The last two local teams to earn berths are Parochial schools.
St. Anthony, the last undefeated team remaining in Hudson County, has earned the top seed in the Non-Public Groups 1 & 2 bracket, which means the Friars will have home games for the first two rounds of the playoffs. That’s always a good thing when the possible opponents are Holy Cross of Delran and St. Joseph of Hammonton. No one wants to take the endless bus ride sojourn to points south like those. It’s much better to have those teams come to Jersey City.
The Marauders of St. Peter’s Prep are in once again in the Non-Public Group 4 bracket, easily the toughest sectional pairing in the state, especially since the state’s No. 1 team, Don Bosco Prep, has been a fixture atop that section for the last four years.
The Marauders look as if they will be a road warrior in the states and will more than likely have to travel to Lawrenceville to face Notre Dame in the opening round next weekend.
So there you have it, seven local teams headed to the post-season. In what was definitely a down year for Hudson County football, it’s not a bad turnout for the playoffs after all…
Speaking of playoff-bound teams: Congratulations to Lincoln’s senior running back Ty Stevens, who had 123 yards and a touchdown in the win over Snyder last weekend.
In the game, Stevens became the first Lincoln running back to ever eclipse the 3,000-yard mark for career yardage. Stevens now has 3,210 career yards, including 977 yards this season. There have been a lot of great running backs to come out of Lincoln over the years. For Stevens to be the best is truly an incredible accomplishment…
Hudson Reporter H.S. Football Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (7-1). 2. St. Anthony (8-0). 3. North Bergen (6-2). 4. Secaucus (6-2). 5. Lincoln (6-2)…
Congrats to the Secaucus girls’ volleyball team for securing yet another Hudson County Tournament championship. It’s hard to find a year when the Patriots were not the county’s best in volleyball…
Here’s some good news about a good local guy. Darren Savino, the former St. Anthony and Jersey City State basketball player, who has worked for more than 15 years as a diligent college basketball coach, has landed on his feet as an assistant to Mick Cronin at the University of Cincinnati.
Savino was an assistant under Fred Hill at Rutgers for the last four seasons, but was unfortunately shown the door in New Brunswick after Hill was terminated. Savino is an excellent basketball coach and an even better recruiter. He’s going to do a fine job with the Bearcats and Cronin and we’ll still get a chance to see him when he comes to New Jersey in Big East regular season play…
Seton Hall held its basketball media day Tuesday and there was one predominant point of conversation, other than new coach Kevin Willard having to totally change the image of the entire program.
Standout guard Jeremy Hazell has a chance to break Jersey City native Terry Dehere’s all-time school scoring record this season. Dehere, who played seven seasons in the NBA, left Seton Hall with 2,494 career points. Hazell starts his senior year with 1,789.
“I think about it a lot,” said Hazell, who first said he was leaving Seton Hall for pro basketball, then changed his mind when Willard was hired. “People tell me that I’m close, that I have a shot to break it. Terry comes to practice all the time and he’s encouraging me to break the record. I think that’s great. I am going for it, but I want to win more.”
Willard, who has done wonders in changing the face of the Pirates, said that he was with Dehere and fellow Jersey City native and Seton Hall grad Jerry Walker last week, talking about Dehere’s scoring mark.
“Terry is very supportive of Jeremy breaking the record,” Willard said. “There’s nothing I’d like more than to see that record fall.”…
In closing, Hoboken lost a true boxing legend recently when Danny Rubino passed away. As a boxer, Rubino was known as the “K.O. Kid” for his propensity to knock people out. He was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989.
More importantly, Rubino was the inspiration for a Broadway show in the late 1970s called “Knockout” that made current Hoboken resident Danny Aiello into a star and was the first break for current “Modern Family” star Ed O’Neill, who was also known as Al Bundy on “Married with Children” for ages.
Rubino was a well loved fixture in the local boxing circles and a true Hoboken sports hero. He still has several family members in Hoboken who will miss him dearly…--Jim Hague Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.