It was certainly a most unique high school football season, thanks to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, but it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a plethora of worthy recipients to be named to the 2020 Hudson Reporter All-Area High School Football Team.
There might not have been NJSIAA state playoffs this season, but there was certainly enough reason to honor the champions of Hudson County, namely the gridiron warriors who were brave and remained steadfast throughout the trials and tribulations of the pandemic-stricken campaign and achieved at such high levels.
Once again, St. Peter’s Prep dominates the All-Area team, with an incredible 15 players earning recognition. The Marauders spent most of the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the entire state and this is affirmation of their statewide standing.
Hudson Catholic was next with six honorees, followed by Union City with five, Hoboken with four and Lincoln with three.
A total of nine players were repeat honorees, namely Tahjamell Bullock, Paul Lefkowitz, K.J. Miles and George Rooks of St. Peter’s Prep; Zahir Abdus Salaam of Union City; Steven Hampton and Kyrin Rhone of Hoboken, Amarrie Bolden of Hudson Catholic and Cedric Bazile of Bayonne.
Two players made All-Area for an astounding third time, namely Rooks of Prep and Rhone of Hoboken, which is quite an accomplishment.
The Hudson Reporter Offensive Player of the Year is also a repeat honoree. Tahjamell Bullock earns the honors for a second straight year. The Prep quarterback, headed to Virginia Tech next fall, had another solid season, completing 65 percent of his passes for 814 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also rushed for an additional 306 yards and scored six touchdowns on the ground. He leaves Grand and Warren as one of the finest players the school has ever produced.
The Hudson Reporter Defensive Player of the Year is George Rooks of Prep, who collected 41 tackles and an impressive eight sacks this season. Rooks has yet to make his official declaration on a college, but he has a handful of big-time programs courting him vigorously, like Michigan and Penn State.
The Hudson Reporter Most Valuable Player is Anthony Henriquez, Jr. of Hoboken, who had the kind of senior year most players simply dream about. On offense, Henriquez rushed for 644 yards on 65 carries, almost 10 yards per carry, and scored eight touchdowns. On defense, Henriquez collected a whopping 110 tackles, which was good for second in the entire state. He also collected five sacks and forced six fumbles.
Henriquez had an ungodly 21 tackles in a huge win over Weequahic and had 18 more in a win over Shabazz. A year ago, Henriquez collected 10 or more tackles in every single game. That’s quite an accomplishment and worthy of being selected as The Hudson Reporter Most Valuable Player.
The Hudson Reporter Coach of the Year goes to someone who graced these pages for the last three decades and is actually a repeat honoree, considering he earned the honors in 2019 when he guided the Marauders to their fifth NJSIAA state title under his watch.
Rich Hansen earns the honor for the final time in his illustrious, legendary Hall of Fame career. He doesn’t need the affirmation of one sportswriter to tell him that he did an unbelievable job over the last 33 seasons, but he is worthy of the year-end honor one more time as he retires from coaching. Congrats to all for their year-end accolades and congrats to Coach Hansen on a job truly well done. – Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at OGSMAR@aol.com
2020 Hudson Reporter All-Area High School Football Team
Quarterback-Tahjamell Bullock, St. Peter’s Prep
Quarterback-Richard Gonzalez, Bayonne
Quarterback-Lukas Kasko, Hudson Catholic
Running Back-Paul Lefkowitz, St. Peter’s Prep
Running Back-Rahmir Gosa, Lincoln
Running Back-Zahir Abdus-Salaam, Union City
Running Back-Sammy Slade, St. Peter’s Prep
Running Back-Kai’leel Jefferson, Hudson Catholic
Running Back-Kyrin Rhone, Hoboken
Wide Receiver-Jaylan Sanchez, St. Peter’s Prep
Wide Receiver-Amarrie Bolden, Hudson Catholic
Wide Receiver-Sha’zir Sullivan, St. Peter’s Prep
Wide Receiver-Christian Ashe, Bayonne
Tight End-Kenny Soares, St. Peter’s Prep
Offensive Line-Aidan Monteiro, St. Peter’s Prep
Offensive Line-Steven Hampton, Hoboken
Offensive Line-Nelson Monegro, Union City
Offensive Line-Taj White, Hudson Catholic
Offensive Line-Aaron Swann, Memorial
Kicker-Nico Duarte, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive End-Kevin Hebron, Lincoln
Defensive End-Ezire King, Hoboken
Defensive End-Ethan Rodriguez, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive End-Devion Jackson, Lincoln
Defensive Tackle-Adrian Drew, Union City
Defensive Tackle-Anthony Dantzler, Hudson Catholic
Defensive Tackle– K.J. Miles, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Tackle-George Rooks, St. Peter’s Prep
Linebacker-Cedric Bazile, Bayonne
Linebacker-Marc Pretto, St. Peter’s Prep
Linebacker-Anthony Henriquez, Jr., Hoboken
Linebacker-Dennis Garcia, Union City
Linebacker-Kayee Williams, Dickinson
Linebacker-Christian Rodgers, Hudson Catholic
Linebacker-John Young, Secaucus
Defensive Back-Glaser Arias, Union City
Defensive Back-Christian Lebrun, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Back-Jordan Campbell, St. Peter’s Prep
Defensive Back-Justin Williams, Snyde
Punter-Champ Long, St. Peter’s Prep
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR- Tahjamell Bullock, St. Peter’s Prep
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR-George Rooks, St. Peter’s Prep
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER-Anthony Henriquez, Jr., Hoboken
COACH OF THE YEAR—Rich Hansen, St. Peter’s Prep