The Secaucus High School boys’ soccer team had never won a championship of any kind before last weekend.
But the Patriots were in the midst of the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference tournament, one that they were absolutely running crazy over the rest of the field.
The Patriots defeated Midland Park in the first round by a final score of 9-0. That alone says something. In the second round, they defeated North Arlington, 5-0.
So when time came for the NJIC championship game and with history on the line, the Patriots’ train wasn’t about to stop right there.
Sure enough, it was more of the same in the title game, as they steamrolled Elmwood Park, 7-0, to capture the first boys’ soccer title in the history of the school.
Not bad for a rookie head coach in Don Somerset.
Somerset had been an assistant coach to Michael Garcia for the last three seasons, but when Garcia had the chance to join the staff at Seton Hall University, it left a void for Somerset to move right in.
“It’s all pretty incredible,” Somerset said of the NJIC title. “I just assumed that Secaucus won some championship before. I know it means a lot to them. The school put the trophy in the middle of the hall for everyone to see. I’m pretty sure these kids never won anything before. It’s a nice change to be able to win something.”
As written here last week, the NJIC established its own playoff system and this is a product of such ingenious thinking by the league.
The Patriots didn’t just win the league title. They blew right past the opposition, outscoring them 21-0 in the three games. That’s just unconscionable.
“We have four kids with more than 10 goals each,” Somerset said. “Our offensive ability has grown. They really have all come into their own.”
Anthony Reyes was the goal scoring machine in the tournament. He found the nets four times against Midland Park, had one against North Arlington and had two more in the championship game against Elmwood Park. He’s only a junior, so he has a bright future. Reyes just arrived in the United States last year.
Senior Colin Walshe also had a fine tourney. He had a goal against Midland Park, had a goal and an assist against North Arlington and had two goals and an assist Saturday in the title game.
Junior Ameer Nassar came alive in the tourney. He had two goals and an assist against Midland Park. Gabriel Chaves, another newcomer to the squad, had two goals and two assists in the tourney. Johnathan Chirino and Tristan Payne also chipped in with the onslaught.
“It’s been pretty amazing working with them,” Somerset said. “I’ve watched them grow and take form. Colin worked on his skills over the summer and took the midfield to the next level. Chirino spent a few years on the bench, got his chance to play this year and he performed well.”
Somerset said that the entire town has embraced the new soccer champions.
“The school, the community, everyone has congratulated us,” Somerset said. “I don’t think people realize the style of soccer we play. Everyone gets a chance to play. We’re offensive minded. It makes for a team that is skillful and fun to watch. We have tons of firepower from all over the field.”
The Patriots had a 15-5 record entering the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I tournament and continued the offensive juggernaut by defeating Bloomfield Tech, 11-1, Tuesday. Chaves, Reyes and Chirino all had two goals and an assist in the win. They were set to face Roselle in the second round of the tourney Friday…
The Hudson Catholic girls’ volleyball team captured the Hudson County Tournament for the third straight year, defeating Secaucus once again in the title match. The Hawks have defeated Secaucus in each of the last three years, something that head coach Fernando Colon addressed.
“It’s significant because Secaucus was the top team in the county for many years,” Colon said. “They have a great tradition. But I think we’ve established a tradition now by winning three straight. It’s a great accomplishment for our girls, considering the school didn’t even have girls until eight years ago.”
And it meant that the girls’ volleyball team and softball team both won county titles in the same year. That’s pretty impressive.
“It’s a great year for the girls of Hudson Catholic,” Colon said.
The Hawks now move on to the NJSIAA state tournament as the No. 2 team in the entire state with a showdown against No. 1-ranked Immaculate Heart Academy looming in the state sectional finals. We’ll have more on the Hawks in an upcoming column…
Congrats to the Ferris boys’ soccer team who defeated Irvington, 5-3 in the opening round of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group III tournament Tuesday. Hugo Herrera had a goal and two assists and Jose Bruzela and Clardo Nestor each had a goal and an assist. It marked the first time in over 20 years that Ferris won a state tournament soccer game. The Bulldogs were set to face Nutley in the second round…
In football, Ferris’ Tyneil Jackson had 149 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 34-14 win over Marist, giving new head coach Juan Garcia his first win as the head coach at his alma mater. Ironically, Garcia was once the head coach at Marist. Revenge is a little sweet…
Harold Estrada had touchdown runs of 35 and 60 yards in Memorial’s 47-0 win over Kearny…
Eight different ball carriers touched the ball in St. Peter’s Prep’s 44-20 win over Lincoln. Anthony Summey led the way with 73 yards and two touchdowns. Brilliant quarterback Masaai Maynor threw for 145 yards and a touchdown…
Kudos to the Union City Soaring Eagles for their impressive 28-0 whitewash of neighboring rival North Bergen last Friday night to clinch the North Jersey Super Football Conference-Liberty White Division championship. Jean Alvarez had 150 yards and two touchdowns rushing, while Darvin Berroa had two interceptions, one being a 104-yard return for a touchdown. Berroa also had one sack and three tackles in the win and Jose Tavares had three sacks for the Soaring Eagles…
It looks as if six local teams are headed to the upcoming NJSIAA football playoffs.
St. Peter’s Prep is the No. 2 seed in Non-Public Group 4 and will draw Don Bosco Prep in the first round. Ironically, the Marauders face DBP in the regular season this weekend. Two straight weekends of Marauders-Ironmen football which should be interesting.
Hudson Catholic will be the No. 3 seed and will get a home game in the first round of the Non-Public Group 2, hosting Holy Cross of Absecon.
Union City is the No. 2 seed in North 1, Group V bracket and will face Livingston on the roof of the school in Union City. North Bergen dropped to the No. 5 seed in that bracket and will travel to Ridgewood for the first round in that bracket.
Bayonne is the No. 6 seed in North 2, Group V, with Dickinson falling out of contention to the No. 9 slot this week.
And despite losing five straight games, Hoboken is headed to the North 2, Group I playoffs and will travel to Newark to face Shabazz. We’ll have more about the state tournament and the return of the Great Hagueini next week…
Hudson Reporter High School Football Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (6-2). 2. Union City (5-3). 3. North Bergen (6-2). 4. Bayonne (5-3). 5. Hudson Catholic (4-4)…
Hudson Reporter High School Soccer Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (14-4-1). 2. Union City (9-7). 3. Hudson Catholic (12-5). 4. Secaucus (16-5). 5. Bayonne (13-8)…– Jim Hague.
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.