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Lyndhurst captures overall T of C bowling title

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First time ever for a North Jersey school

 

By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

The Lyndhurst High School bowling team loaded up the team bus and headed south to Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick last Friday with modest expectations.

“Honestly, I was just hoping to see if we could get Group I,” said Lyndhurst second-year head bowling coach Brianna Balkin. “Last year, we finished second in Group I, so I wanted to win that. Last year, we broke all the records, had all the high scores, had the state sectional title and went down there and couldn’t get it together.”

So as the Golden Bears made another sojourn south on the New Jersey Turnpike, Balkin had one thing in mind.

“In my mind, the goal was to win Group I,” Balkin said. “Anything else that happened would be a bonus.”

But as the bus got closer to Carolier Lanes, the aspirations of the bowlers started to rise.

“The kids all wanted to win the whole thing,” Balkin said. “So I said that if we bowled (a combined score of) 3,100, we could win it.”

However, the prospects didn’t look good early on.

“We fell behind by 20 pins after the first game,” Balkin said. “I was thinking, ‘Here we go again.’”

But the Golden Bears seemed to catch lightning in a bottle. Senior Michael Hayes was inserted into the lineup to go along with the Bears’ usual stalwarts Jordan Lopez, Daijon Smith, Ryan Donohue and Emily Young.

“He was huge for us,” Balkin said. “He kept making spares. He said he was nervous and I told him that I needed him to keep making spares.”

That’s what Hayes did, rolling his best score of 190 to go along with the others. The Golden Bears got to 3,202 to win the Group I title over Pompton Lakes. North Arlington, led by standout Tyler Keefe (269 high game) finished sixth.

From there, the Golden Bears moved on to the Tournament of Champions to lock horns with Group IV champion Freehold Township, Group III champ Sayreville and Group II champ Rahway.

 

Photo courtesy Brianna Balkin The Lyndhurst bowling team gets together for one last group hug after clinching the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title last week.

Photo courtesy Brianna Balkin
The Lyndhurst bowling team gets together for one last group hug after clinching
the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title last week.

Incredibly, the Golden Bears drew the top seed for finishing first in the Group championships and faced Rahway in the semifinals, winning the Baker Series (alternate best ball) bestof- five by a three games to two margin.

From there, it was on to the overall T of C title match against Freehold Township, which defeated Sayreville. Again, there was more drama, right down to the final frames.

“They made things interesting and gave me a heart attack,” Balkin said.

But the Golden Bears prevailed, winning the title series by a similar three games to two margin.

And just like that, Lyndhurst became the first team from northern New Jersey to ever capture the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title.

“It’s been one amazing ride,” Balkin said. “I credit the kids. My seniors, who I call ‘The Fab Five,’ have been tremendous. It’s not just bowling. It’s outside of the lanes. They’ve done so much for this program.”

The seniors are Lopez, Smith, Young, Hayes and Richard Sawires.

“It’s really amazing,” Balkin said. “They put in the work. They practice a lot on their own.”

Balkin said that another key was practicing the Baker system of bowling.

“We did a lot of Baker in college, so I knew that’s what was going to happen if we got to the state level,” Balkin said. “The kids all love Baker. Once they got there (to the T of C semifinals), they knew how to do it and were used to it.”

That experience obviously paid off.

What also helped was the competitiveness of the team, yet the camaraderie. For example, Lopez and Smith are so close as bowlers, with just a few pins separating the two each time they hit the lanes. They also use the same unique style, bowling with two hands instead of the conventional one-handed approach.

But they are also the best of friends, almost inseparable.

“They’re actually like brothers,” Balkin said. “They have a good healthy rivalry. Each wants to beat the other, but after they’re done, they’re always together. It makes a huge difference. They knew if they were going to do this, they needed to do it together. They all want each other to do well. They are so supportive of each other and comfortable with each other.”

The team also had a girl among the top bowlers in Young, who earned the top score overall last week at the NJSIAA North 1A sectionals. Lopez, Smith and Donohue have all bowled perfect games in their lives, so that is also a huge help.

Balkin said that the victory Friday takes away any of the bitterness the team experienced after losing the Bergen County tournament three weeks ago.

“I think that was the turning point of the season,” Balkin said. “We didn’t want to lose then, so that became motivation. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, because ever since then, they were in the bowling alley every single day, practicing and working.”

Balkin said that there was a huge sense of pride becoming the first northern New Jersey team to ever secure the NJSIAA T of C title.

“It’s big for North Jersey,” Balkin said. “A lot of people think that we’re at a disadvantage, being from North Jersey. But we proved we can be just as good as the rest of the state.”

No, better yet, the Golden Bears proved that they can be better than any other team in the rest of New Jersey, winning the overall state title, one for the ages.

“It really is amazing,” Balkin said. “I think it’s something they’ll all remember for the rest of their lives.”

Nutley captures its 4th straight District 14 crown

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By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

When Frank DiPiano took over the Nutley High School wrestling program five years ago, he had no idea how long it would take for the Maroon Raiders to become relevant once again.

Little did DiPiano know that he would develop the Maroon Raiders into a dominant force.

That domination continued over the weekend, when DiPiano’s Maroon Raiders, just a few days removed from suffering an emotional setback in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group III sectional title match against Voorhees, steamrolled the opposition once again at the NJSIAA District 14 championships, winning for the fourth straight year.

“It’s always the goal to win the league, the county, the state and the district titles,” DiPiano said. “To win our fourth District 14 title in a row, we take a lot of pride in that. We came back from the sectional final and rebounded well.”

The Maroon Raiders crowned three champions in 126-pound champion Joe Ferinde, 132-pound champ Robert Duxbury and 145-pounder Darwin Pena.

Ferinde improved to 33-2 overall with a resounding 16-3 win over Roland Smith of Belleville in the finals.

“He just keeps going,” DiPiano said. “It’s his second district title. It’s impressive at this time of year to have the record he has. He wants to win and advance to get back on the podium in Atlantic City.”

Ferinde finished eighth in the state last year.

Duxbury (33-2) won the District 14 gold last year at 106 pounds, so for him to make such a huge step up in weight and still remain at the top of his game is impressive.

“He has real good technique and he’s a real strong kid for his size,” DiPiano said.

Pena has shown the biggest improvement of any Nutley wrestler in recent memory, going from sub-.500 last year (11-13) to where he’s dominant (33-3) this year.

“He’s on everyone’s radar now,” DiPiano said.

The Maroon Raiders will send 12 wrestlers to the Region 4 tournament this weekend, including five that finished as runners-up in their respective weight classes, namely 120-pounder Kenny Pena, 152-pounder Joseph DiPasquale, 160-pounder Andrew Aiello, 170-pounder Jason Castellanos and 195-pounder Justin Bivona.

Of the five Maroon Raiders to place second, DiPiano was most pleased with Bivona.

“He upset the No. 3 seed, then upset the No. 2 seed to get to the finals,” DiPiano said of Bivona, who now has a 14-13 record this season. “It’s a big turnaround for him. He wrestled complete and smart over the last couple of weeks.”

Belleville crowed two champions in District 14 in 160-pounder Jordan Greene and 220-pounder Edwin Gaines. Both Buccaneer wrestlers earned District 14 gold for a second time.

At District 15, Queen of Peace crowned three champions in 120-pounder Ray Wetzel, 195-pounder Jeff Velez and heavyweight Chima Dunga.

Velez was a district champ for the fourth straight year, having won the prior three in District 11 while competing for Brearley Regional.

Enrique Sanchez (106), Mike Scaravelli (132), Garrett Beam (138), Shaquan Chavis (145) and Joe Rocca (152) all punched their tickets to the region tourney with solid efforts over the weekend.

Lyndhurst/North Arlington had three wrestlers advance to Region 2 in 160-pounder Rocco Russomano, 120-pounder Devin Yunis and 170-pounder Matthew DeMarco.

Kearny saw 170-pounder Lukasz Glazewski advance after losing in the finals of District 16 to Leo Subiza of North Bergen.

Once again, it’s a solid array of wrestling talent that is moving on to either Region 2 or Region 4 this weekend.

Lyndhurst’s Young proves to be more than one of the boys

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

Emily Young doesn’t mind being the lone girl competing on the Lyndhurst High School bowling team.

In fact, Young embraces the idea.

“I love bowling with the boys,” Young said. “I love being on the team with so many good bowlers. I actually look up to them. I never have any pressure on me when I’m with them, because I’m never expected to do anything. There’s never the pressure to be the best.”

After all, Young is a member of the state’s premier bowling team that features three members, namely Jordan Lopez, Daijon Smith and Ryan Donohue, who have all bowled perfect 300 games in their lifetimes.

“Basically, I want to do my best for them,” Young said. “I always know that my fiercest competition is the boys on the bus. I always say that to Ryan. I always say that I just want to stay close with the boys on the team.”

Young began bowling at the age of eight.

“I wouldn’t say that I was great right away, but I never bowled with the bumpers,” Young said of the training tools seen at most lanes for beginners. “I joined a recreation league with one of my friends because it seemed like fun.”

However, it didn’t take long for Young to get hooked.

“I wanted to bowl all the time,” said Young, who also plays volleyball at Lyndhurst. “It didn’t take me that long to get pretty good at it.”

Young’s uncle, Michael Gingerelli, was a standout bowler in his own right, winning the Bergen County title at Lyndhurst in 1978. Gingerelli gave Young her first ball.

“He was a big help,” Young said. “So was Ryan’s (Donohue) dad. He’s great. He helped me a lot as well.”

When Young began bowling at Lyndhurst High, she owned a respectable average of 133. But she wasn’t exactly a world beater.

“I just kept working on trying to get better,” Young said. “I had a lot of encouragement from my friends and teammates. Coach (Brianna) Balkin teaches us to never give up.”

“She’s just a great kid who works hard,” Balkin said. “She just loves to be out there and competing.”

Young has gradually improved over the years, rolling to a 179 average last year and 184 this season.

“I got thrown into the varsity lineup, sink or swim,” Young said. “I’m just lucky to be sharing lanes with Jordan, Daijon and Ryan. They’re their own animal.”

Young said that she did get a new ball this season, a 15-pounder that was just a little heavier than the one she had been using.

“I think the weight gives me more action and I’m able to throw a more aggressive ball,” Young said. “There’s definitely a difference.”

Earlier this season, Young won the Bergen County girls’ bowling title, but two weeks ago, she was bowling with and against the boys at the NJSIAA North 1A Sectional at Bowler City in Hackensack.

And Young was beyond sensational, rolling a 759 series, which was the highest score of any bowler present _ male or female.

“For me to beat my teammates is a miracle,” Young said. “I never thought I could beat them, never mind come even close.”

“She was almost unconscious,” Balkin said. “She just went up there, threw the ball and smiled. She was just happy to be there for the team. I never expected her to be the best, to beat her teammates. I thought she might place high, but never above all the rest.”

Young had 269, which was the second highest single game, and the combined-score of 759, which was high series, helping the Golden Bears set a new record for the state sectional and move on to the state Tournament of Champions, which they eventually won.

For her efforts, Young has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week.

“It’s an amazing achievement,” Balkin said of Young winning the overall state sectional singles title. “It’s never happened before.”

In fact, state officials were so unprepared for a girl to win the boys’ state sectional title that they didn’t present Young with the trophy for winning the sectional. The award went to James Kane of Paramus Catholic, who finished second with a 748 series.

How ridiculous was that?

“The rule said that a girl can’t win the boys’ sectional,” Young said. “He (Kane) got a trophy. I got a shout out. When I found out, I was pretty upset. It was terrible. It really was. I guess no one ever thought that a girl could win the boys’ tournament. I was just glad I could compete.”

Balkin said that the boys on her team offer encouragement to Young all the time.

“They all want her to do well,” Balkin said. “They are all so much behind her that I think it eases things up for her. They pick her up. She doesn’t have to worry about being good or being bad. She just has to bowl.”

Young has also been an inspiration to her teammates.

“The boys on the team are all still talking about it,” Balkin said. “We have four other girls on the team who all want to get better. They see what Emily has done, that she’s not just competing as a girl, but with the boys. She’s keeping up with the rest.”

Or in some cases, beating them.

Young competed alone in the NJSIAA girls’ state tournament on Wednesday and finished 25th overall. She then bowled Friday with her teammates and helped the Golden Bears bring home the golden prize.

Young hopes to attend either Sacred Heart University or the University of Delaware in the fall. On target to be the salutatorian for the Lyndhurst Class of 2015, Young hopes to major in social work at whatever school she chooses.

“I definitely want to work with kids,” Young said. “I love children and if I can help them, then that’s my next step.”

Needless to say, Young never imagined she would become a state sectional champion _ make that a boys’ state sectional champ.

“This has been my best year for bowling,” Young said. “I’ve achieved my goals. The team has done tremendously.”

It’s been a dream season for Emily Young and the Golden Bears, truly a golden season.

Local hoop teams head to NJSIAA playoffs

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

For the first time ever, the Kearny boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will be playing NJSIAA state playoff games at the same location against the same school. Both the Kardinal boys and girls qualified for the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV playoffs and the Kardinals will be part of a special doubleheader Monday night (March 2) at Paterson Kennedy.

First, the Kearny girls, the No. 13 seed in the North 1, Group IV bracket, will take on No. 4 seed Paterson Kennedy, with tipoff slated for 4:30 p.m.

Immediately following, it will be the Kearny boys making their first NJSIAA state playoff appearance in six years, taking on Paterson Kennedy at 7 p.m. The Kardinals, who improved to 12-12 overall with a win over Ferris last weekend, earned the No. 14 seed in the bracket.

Qualifying for the state playoffs is a major achievement for second-year head coach Bob McDonnell and the Kardinals.

“Without a doubt, it was one of our main goals coming into the season,” McDonnell said. “So it’s definitely an achievement. It’s been a little frustrating at times, but it’s all been amazing, since all five guys haven’t put it together at once all season. But it’s still a great feeling to see the development of the kids.They want to play. They come in for shootaround practices early and put in the extra effort to get ready for games. Making the state playoffs is a good reward for the kids.”

Gus Chemin had 17 points in the Kardinals’ 62-46 win over Ferris. The Kardinals also enjoyed a win over Memorial in the opening round of the Hudson County Tournament, before falling to Bayonne, 89- 84, in overtime.

Joseph Baez had 19 points, Chemin added 16, Georgie Smyth and Gralen Vereen each had 14 points and Zach Latka added 13 points and eight rebounds in the loss to Bayonne. Latka had 25 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Memorial.

Two other local schools saw both their boys’ and girls’ basketball teams secure state playoff berths.

North Arlington’s boys grabbed the No. 7 seed in North Jersey Section 2, Group I. The Vikings will face American History on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in North Arlington. The NA girls are on the road at New Providence Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Vikings received the No. 13 seed in that bracket.

And the Bloomfield boys and girls are both headed to the postseason.

The Bloomfield boys took the No. 4 seed in North Jersey Section 1, Group IV. The Bengals will play host to Passaic County Tech Monday at 7 p.m. The Bloomfield girls are on the road facing Livingston Monday at 5 p.m. The Bengals are the No. 9 seed in the girls’ bracket.

The only other local team to get a home game is the Harrison girls. The Blue Tide drew the No. 8 seed in North Jersey Section 2, Group I and will face Caldwell Monday night at 7 p.m.

The Nutley girls will travel all the way to West Morris for a first round game in North Jersey Section 2, Group III Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Maroon Raiders are the No. 13 seed in that bracket.

The Lyndhurst girls are also the No. 13 seed in the North Jersey Section 2, Group I bracket. The Golden Bears travel to Morris County to take on Hanover Park Monday at 7 p.m.

Obituaries

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Bulkowski 

Elizabeth “Betty” Bulkowski, of Harrison, entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, Feb. 18. She was 67.

Born in Newark, she was a lifelong resident of Harrison and a parishioner of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison.

She was predeceased by her loving parents William and Helen Bulkowski and her brother Thomas.

She graduated from Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington, in 1965 and attended Lyons Institute in Newark. After a dedicated career in the medical field as an assistant to numerous doctors, she retired from Heart and Lung Center in Hawthorne three years ago.

Elizabeth is survived by her loving cousin Veronica Coladarci, her second cousin and godson Joseph Coladarci III and his wife Drea, along with their children Abigail and Joseph IV. She is also survived by her second cousin Janet Torres and her husband Elias as well as their children Christian and Brielle, along with many other cousins and friends.

The funeral will be conducted from the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Monday, March 2, at 10:45 a.m. A funeral Mass will follow at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison. Her interment will take place in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Viewing hours will be on Sunday, March 1, from 2 to 6 p.m. and Monday at 10 a.m. For information, directions, or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.mulliganfh.com.

Patti Parker-Hudson 

Patti Parker-Hudson, 44, of New Port Ritchie, Fla., formerly of Belleville, passed away on Feb. 12. She is survived by her sons Christopher and Ryan; parents Bernard and Patricia; sisters Barbara and Bernadette. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 1848, Longmont, Colo. 80502.

Logged on the Harrison police blotter

Feb. 17 

A man came to Harrison police HQ to report that someone had broken into his blue 2001 Ford Van while it was parked in the municipal lot at Central and Kingsland Aves. He said he’d parked it there at 4 p.m. the day before and when he returned the next day at 8:30 a.m., he found its rear window smashed in and a portable power generator removed from the van. He also reported that his second work van that he’d parked there the day prior was missing.

Feb. 19 

Police responded to a report of a theft from a motor vehicle at S. Fifth and Sussex Sts. Upon arrival, the victim told officers that he’d parked his Audi S4 on the 500 block of Sussex St. at 9:30 p.m. overnight and that when he returned at 8:33 a.m. this day, he discovered that someone had broken into the vehicle and took a Pioneer touch screen radio valued at $700, a Pioneer sub woofer worth $400 and a $100 MP3 player. He also found that the steering wheel column had been damaged, apparently in an attempt by the burglar to steal the car.

Feb. 22 

At 1:41 a.m., HQ received a call about a two-car accident on Cleveland Ave. and dispatched officers to investigate. At the location, police said they observed a man behind the steering wheel trying to move a vehicle which looked like it had been in a collision with another vehicle. Police said the driver, Luis Lescanoguzman, 35, of Kearny, was revving the vehicle but it would not move while in drive. As the driver tried to speak to the officers, police said the officers detected the odor of alcohol coming from him. When he was asked to exit the vehicle, the driver could barely open the door because of extensive damage to the front wheel and quarter panel, police said. Using the vehicle for support, the driver tried to move away from it but, in doing so, lost his balance and fell. Lescanoguzman was charged with DWI and given additional summonses.

Feb. 23 

At 3:10 a.m., police said an officer on patrol spotted a parked vehicle straddling the sidewalk and the street near Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. and Riverbend Drive. Activating emergency lights, the officer pulled up behind the vehicle, a 2012 gray Jeep Liberty, exited his patrol car and approached the driver’s side where he observed the driver asleep behind the wheel with the vehicle in drive. Police said the officer knocked on the window but, after getting no response, opened the door and saw that the driver had vomited on the driver’s door and could detect the odor of alcohol. Eventually, police said, the officer roused the driver, Jorge Torres-Monteverde, 24, of Newark, and ticketed him for DWI and other motor vehicle violations.

– Ron Leir 

Fire empties fast food business

LYNDHURST – 

A fire erupted at a fast food eatery in Lyndhurst over the weekend, according to the Lyndhurst Police Department.

At 10:43 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, the Lyndhurst Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the Burger King, 2 Park Ave., just off Valley Brook Ave., on a report of fire.

Police Capt. John Valente said that the Fire Department extinguished a grease fire in the kitchen of the establishment which was closed during the fire.

Valente said the Fire Department determined that the cause of the fire was an electrical surge to the business, causing a malfunction in the fryer.

“The oil in the fryer became superheated and boiled over the sides of the container and were ignited by the heating element,” Valente said.

No injuries were reported.

As of Monday, the township Health Department reported that work crews were still in the process of cleaning up damage from the fire and hoped to reopen by Tuesday, Feb. 24.

– Ron Leir 

Up and running

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

The Kearny Police Department’s enhanced 911 emergency communications system at its South Kearny Precinct that Super Storm Sandy wiped out two and a half years ago has finally been finally restored.

“Tuesday, Jan. 13, we went live,” said Police Sgt. John Manley, deputy coordinator for the Kearny Office of Emergency Management. “It’s been a long haul.”

As part of the recovery effort, the town ended up ordering several trailer units that it had installed inside the combined police/ fire facility to provide separate offices for firefighters and police and space for fire rigs.

Then the town had to shell out $240,000 just to replace the 911 system which took months to set up, with the vendor Carousel Industries of Bensalem, Pa., working with Verizon to get everything humming. Kearny has applied for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The last step was the KPD’s training superior officers in using the new system so that a rotating schedule of officers assigned to the precinct for 911 duty could be set up.

From the precinct, the officers can handle not just 911 calls – medical calls are routed from a 911 center at the Jersey City Medical Center and nonmedical calls from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office in Jersey City – but also regular police calls.

For emergency situations, the system allows the officer handling the calls to link up with the appropriate outside law enforcement or local and/ or regional civilian agency to respond.

All 911 calls are logged and can be played back as needed. The system is also outfitted with TTY capability, a telecommunications device for the hearing impaired.

The system also is equipped with a video mapping capability that can help an officer trace the location of a caller, should that communication be interrupted or abruptly ended.

“We have 98 surveillance cameras positioned around South Kearny so that area, (which is largely industrial), can be monitored from our 911 center,” Manley said. “And because the town arranged to run fiber optic cable through the area, we’ll be getting a better picture quality.”

With the trailer units situated three feet above ground level, the hope is that elevation will protect officers and the electronic gear against an incursion of flood water. And KPD has backup phone lines for its 911 and regular police communications, both in South Kearny and uptown at KPD headquarters on Laurel Ave.

However, if another monster storm hits the area and the precinct is inundated again, there is a fail-safe system in place, Manley said.

Part of the 911 system features new technology – a portable unit designed so that it can be disconnected from its precinct-based housing and re-attached to a laptop computer for operation on a mobile basis and continue to provide a 911 capability.

“So if we get another surge from the (Passaic) river that’s going to flood us out of South Kearny, we will pull out the portable unit and our vehicles – as well as the Fire Department rigs – to redeploy uptown,” Manley said.

Other safeguards being taken by the town in case of heavy flooding include readying the installation of backup and/or new generators at various pumping stations and other critical local facilities, he said.

For example, Manley said, the town will be arranging for the placement of a backup generator at Schuyler Elementary School in the event that the school is put into service as an emergency shelter. Neglia Engineering, the town’s consulting engineers, is drafting specifications for that project, he added.

Does girls crew row vs. bias?

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

A Kearny parent has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Board of Education.

The complaint, filed in December 2014 by Paula Cavalier, alleges that the high school has violated Title 9 of federal education law which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex in federally-supported education programs.

Cavalier’s complaint alleges that the high school is favoring the boys crew over the girls crew team by denying the girls the chance to participate in regionally competitive races in which the boys crew participates.

And, the complaint says, the school discriminates against the girls crew by giving the male crew priority access to equipment.

Kenneth Lindenfelser, attorney for the school board, said that, “there was a complaint filed by a parent alleging Title 9 violations” and that the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights “has asked for information that we are in the process of gathering and which we will be providing.”

Lindenfelser said the feds wanted the materials “by Feb. 18” but because the scope of the information sought involves all interscholastic sports activities in which Kearny High participates, collecting all the information – items including each program’s “budget, number of participants, age of uniforms and type of equipment” – collection of the data has become “tedious to assemble.”

For that reason, he said, he is asking the feds if the district can limit its research to crew but, if not, “we’ll probably ask for an extension.”

The district, the attorney said, “is confident we’re in compliance, but we’re going to cooperate with them and if they find that some type of adjustment is needed, we’ll make it.”

He declined to elaborate. In her complaint, Cavalier attached a spread sheet detailing the boys and girls crew competitions for 2014. From an analysis of those events, Cavalier drew this conclusion:

“The boys raced against 151 more teams than the girls, mainly because they raced on Sunday, when the most competitive races occur. These are the races most likely to draw college recruiters, so that girls who cannot race on Sundays have reduced access to scholarships, as compared with boys. This is mostly due to the fact that the girls’ crew coach declines to work on Sundays, for religious reasons. The majority of competitive rowing on the east coast occurs on Sundays. … Under Title 9, the school district is required to afford equal opportunities to female athletes. Because the Kearny school district could easily find a solution to this inequality, I have contacted the Office of Civil Rights ….”

Ironically, according to logs obtained by Cavalier, more girls participated in crew than boys last year. “For 2014, 40 girls signed up, as compared with 36 boys,” she told The Observer.

Under the projected schedule for 2015 competitions, Cavalier said, “The boys will be racing 296 more teams than the girls, which is worse than last year’s inequality of 151 more teams.”

And getting less exposure than the boys crew in bigger competitive races “attended by regional, Ivy League college recruiters” means that girls’ chances of landing athletic scholarships are negatively impacted, she said.

Although her daughter is a member of the girls crew team, Cavalier said that she filed the discrimination complaint as an advocate for the entire girls crew team, and not just as her daughter.

“I hope she realizes that sometimes, you have to do what you might be afraid to do for the bigger picture, to right a wrong,” she said.

Last year, Cavalier said, it was embarrassing for the girls crew members when “our immediate regional competition, like the girls teams from Nutley, Belleville, Rutherford, for example, were at the Sunday Philadelphia Rowing Association races, and Kearny was not represented.”

Possible solutions, Cavalier suggested, include allowing assistant crew coaches for boys and girls to “work out a schedule so that both teams can attend the same competitions,” merging the boys and girls crew “so that they can compete in the same races as a unit” or replacing the girls’ crew coach.

Back in 1983 when Cavalier was a student at Kearny High and an avid cyclist, she asked if she could go out for crew, only to be told there were no girls permitted “because they had no separate showers or bathrooms.”

Three years later, she recalled, a girls crew team materialized.

“Today, ironically, more than 30 years later, we’re still running into a situation of inequality for girls,” she said.

Last year, Cavalier revived her high school dream by taking lessons with the Passaic River Rowing Association and has relished the experience. “When you’re a crew and rowing as one unit, it all clicks together. Together, you become one quiet, beautiful machine.”

How to ward off the cold

With predictions of continued frigid weather, including wind gusts of up to 40 mph and wind chills of -15 to -20 degrees, across The Observer’s coverage area, here are some tips from the Essex County Office of Emergency Management.

* Clothing: Dress in layers. Cover exposed skin, and wear a hat and gloves.

* Stay dry: Moisture, even sweat, increases heat loss. * Stay hydrated: Increased hydration means increased blood flow and less chance of frostbite.

* Frostbite: Signs of frostbite include white, gray, numb, or waxy skin. Victims are often unaware of frostbite until someone else notices it. Frostbite victims should be brought indoors and gently warmed with body heat or warm water. Never use a heating pad, oven or other source of extreme heat, as numb skin will burn easily.

* Hypothermia: Persons with a low body temperature will exhibit slurred speech, drowsiness, low energy, or shaking of the hands. Hypothermia victims should be brought to a warm indoor location as quickly as possible and have their body warmed as quickly as possible. Body temperatures below 95 degrees require immediate medical attention.

And from The Observer: During extreme weather, you might also consider checking up on your neighbors, particularly senior citizens. Do they need any help? Do they have heat and hot water? If they are unable to leave home, offer to run errands, such as food shopping.