Aciz named Reporter Athlete of the Year
Secaucus three-sport standout becomes first female in six years to earn honor
Tiffany Aciz never thought it would come to this, never thought that she would actually be considered the premier athlete in Hudson County. When the Secaucus High School three-sport star began her talented career in athletics, there was only one thing in mind: Having fun.
"I just liked sports and liked playing," Aciz said. "I never thought I could turn out to be good at it."
But there were signs along the way. Aciz played baseball in the Secaucus Little League, with and against the boys for two years, and more than held her own.
"I started at third base for my team," Aciz said. "The boys called me 'Doubles' because all I hit were doubles and triples. I was definitely good enough to play with the boys."
She also played basketball - strictly with and against the girls - since grade school as well. However, the sport that would bring Aciz her most acclaim, volleyball, didn't enter the picture until she entered high school.
"I remember going to a class with Mrs. [Maria] Nolan [the long-time Secaucus volleyball coach) and learning about the fundamentals of volleyball in seventh or eighth grade," Aciz said. "I never played before. I knew about the great Secaucus volleyball program, but I never thought I would be good enough to play on the varsity."
However, on the volleyball court, Aciz's athleticism stood out, almost from the outset.
"After all these years, I can generally tell who has the potential to be a good player," said Nolan, who has been the head volleyball coach at Secaucus for the last 26 years, guiding the Patriots to a state-record 16 state championships. "Who has the potential to go on to bigger things, who can develop into a player. It also has to be someone who loves the sport as well."
Added Nolan, "I heard from a lot of people beforehand that Tiffany was a great athlete. And you know what? They were right."
That's for sure, because Tiffany Aciz simply compiled one of the best all-around athletic careers in Hudson County history, male or female.