It is very rare for a Hudson County town to have one of its athletes earn a medal at the NJSIAA state wrestling championships.
But for a small town like Secaucus to get two? That’s extraordinary.
That’s what took place last Sunday at the 2009 state championships in Atlantic City, when St. Peter’s Prep junior Kevin Innis finished fifth at 215 pounds, while friend and former teammate in the Secaucus Recreation program, Bobby Roesing of Secaucus, took home seventh place in the 160-pound class.
It’s no small accomplishment, considering that Innis became only the sixth Prep wrestler to ever earn a medal at the state championships, joining Dave Ilaria, Greg Ilaria, Konrad Dudziak, Sean O’Grady and Mike Rohrman, while Roesing became only the second Patriot grappler to earn a medal in Atlantic City, joining former Hudson Reporter Athlete of the Year Alex Rodriguez in 1993.
It’s a credit to the hard work and determination of both young men, who are truly credits to their respective schools and credits to their community as well…
As written above, the high school basketball season came to an end locally this week and quite honestly, there were no real shocking upsets down the stretch.
If there was one loss that might have been somewhat shocking, it would have to have been St. Peter’s Prep’s 90-70 loss to Seton Hall Prep at home last Saturday in the NJSIAA Non-Public (Parochial) A semifinals.
It was shocking in that the Marauders had already defeated the Pirates in the Dan Finn Classic earlier in the year, a win that definitely catapulted the Marauders into the category of the New Jersey elite.
It was soon after that win that the Marauders entered the state’s Top 20 and remained there all season, making it all the way to No. 3 in the most recent ranking before facing Seton Hall Prep.
So there might have been higher expectations for the Marauders, especially as the season progressed and they captured the HCIAA Coviello title for a second straight year.
But the bottom line is this: This was a Marauder team that basically played one junior, four sophomores and a freshman for the entire year. Maybe this was a learning experience. Maybe this is a Prep team that will be even better and stronger next year.
The future does look bright, especially with sophomore Myles Davis looking like the best pure scorer Grand & Warren has seen since the days of Eddie Lawson in the early 1980s and freshman Dallas Anglin might even develop better than Davis down the road.
So it’s safe to say that better days are definitely ahead for the Marauders. Young teams have to come of age in the state tournament. This is a powerhouse to be reckoned with next season. It’s just that there were some people who thought that a state sectional title was in the making this year.
One last thing: Head coach Mike Kelly is a great coach and has done a fantastic job of elevating this program to its statewide heights, but there is no excuse for getting ejected in a state tournament game and then refusing to speak to the media afterwards, sending an assistant coach out to speak instead.
You win some, you lose some. But when you lose, you should do it with grace and dignity. Kelly should know better than snubbing the press after a loss. Once you learn to take the bad along with the good, then you truly know the ways of the world as a high school coach…
Congrats to Jersey City’s Ahmad Nivins, the St. Joseph of Philadelphia standout who was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year last week.
Former St. Anthony product Nivins is one of only three players in the entire country, along with Blake Griffin of Oklahoma and Luke Harangody of Notre Dame, to average double figures in points and rebounds. That’s pretty impressive. Nivins has definitely exceeded all expectations with his brilliant college career….
Yes, baseball season is right around the corner and it’s not too early to think about some of the players and teams in the area.
In fact, Marist has two standouts, pitcher/shortstop Fabian Roman and catcher Eddie Sorando, who are already drawing raves in preseason All-America teams and from their participations in area scouting combines. One scout said that Roman was clocked at 94 miles per hour in a pitching workout in East Rutherford. If Roman’s throwing that kind of heat, watch out this season…
The 19th annual Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner will take place on Thursday, March 26 at the Casino in the Park in Jersey City and will feature this litany of excellent sports figures: boxing champ Emile Griffith; track standouts Al Adams, Thornton Smith and Tommy Downes; football and wrestling great Ted Klaube, baseball and football great Eddie Connors; Bill and Ken Frank, Jersey City natives and brothers who have won more than 1,000 games combined coaching baseball in Toms River; former North Bergen basketball coach John Barone; soccer great Connie Gallagher; coaching legend Paul Conway; former light heavyweight boxing contender Jimmy Dupree; former Major League Baseball pitcher Jeff Bittiger of Secaucus and the late Harry Massey of Jersey City.
Tickets for the dinner are priced at $60 and can be purchased by calling Beth Ruttler of the Hudson County Parks Department at (201) 915-1386. Tickets are still available. It’s always a great night of nostalgia and memories…
The Hudson Reporter’s All-Area boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will be released next week, so make sure to secure a copy next week. – Jim Hague To comment on this story on-line, click on the NEW www.hudsonreporter.com, and then click on Sports, and leave a comment at the end of the story! Jim Hague can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.