Nutley, Lyndhurst grid teams head to NJSIAA state playoffs

Photos by Jim Hague
August Mustardo (l.) and Devin White are two of the main reasons why Nutley owns an 8-0 record this season. The Maroon
Raiders are headed to the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group III playoffs as the second seed with the possibility of
playing two more home games at the Nutley Oval.

One team started the high school football season with high expectations – then exceeded those hopes and aspirations with every passing week. The other began the 2015 campaign with despair, losing their first three games, putting themselves in a hole that not a lot of teams recover from. However,… Continue Reading

Second season begins for local soccer teams

Photos by Jim Hague
LEFT: Kearny sophomore forward John Najarro now has 24 goals for the No. 1 seeded Kardinals who begin play in the
NJSIAA North 2, Group IV sectional this week. RIGHT: Lyndhurst junior midfielder Amanda Fulcher is among the top allaround
performers in the state and leads the top-seeded Golden Bears into action in North 2, Group II.

The NJSIAA soccer playoffs kicked off earlier this week and several local teams had high hopes and aspirations of winning sectional and possible state titles in the coming weeks. Six local boys’ teams and five girls’ squads have earned berths in the state tournament, with three local squads, the Kearny boys, the Harrison… Continue Reading

North Arlington’s Neves a goal-scoring force

Photo by Jim Hague
North Arlington senior forward Cristiano Neves.

Two years ago, Cristiano Neves was a defender on the Newark East Side High School soccer team. But Neves wasn’t exactly a happy camper back then. “I really didn’t like playing defense,” Neves said. “I think I’m better as a forward.” Luckily for Neves, his family moved… Continue Reading

Kearny boys beat Union City, 3-2, for second straight county soccer title

Photo by Robert Rodriguez
The 2015 Hudson County Soccer Champion Kearny Kardinals

Najarro’s 2-goal spurt the difference for Kards, first-ever repeat champs HARRISON –  In the seven-year history of the Hudson County Soccer Tournament, there has never been a repeat champion. That is, until now. And that’s because the Kardinals beat Union City, 3-2, for the county… Continue Reading

Lady Kards capture soccer championship

Photo by Alyssa Ventoso
The 2015 Kearny High School girls soccer team head over to celebrate their Hudson County
Championship with the crowd at Harrison High School. The Kards beat Bayonne High School 1-0.

HARRISON–  It’s getting to the point, now, where the Hudson County Girls’ Soccer Tournament might just need to be renamed the Lady Kards Annual County Soccer Championship. That’s because for the seventh time in as many years as the tournament has existed, the now 16-3 Kardinals won it all Saturday afternoon at… Continue Reading

Nutley’s Steck emerges as Maroon Raiders’ leader

Photo by Jim Hague
Nutley junior forward Zoe Steck.

Although she’s only a junior, Zoe Steck has inherited a lot of the leadership responsibilities on the Nutley High School girls’ soccer team. “I don’t think of it that it’s any added pressure,” Steck said. “I like the responsibility. I like to think I thrive under pressure. I knew… Continue Reading

NA girls’ soccer: Winning easier with superstar Seca

Photo by Jim Hague
The North Arlington girls’ soccer team has posted a solid 8-2 record thus far
this season. From l. are Carlie Mullins, Nicole Guerra, Kaitlyn Cappuccino, Callie
Evanchick and head coach Dan Farinola.

Before the 2015 girls’ high school soccer season kicked off last month, North Arlington head coach Dan Farinola found his team somewhat in a state of flux. The Vikings graduated standout players Taylor Barth and Sarah Palma. Farinola knew that the two senior leaders would be sorely missed. “They’re tough to replace,” said… Continue Reading

Lyndhurst’s Luna comes of age in a hurry

Photo by Jim Hague
Lyndhurst sophomore forward Mia Luna.

When the 2015 girls’ high school soccer season was about to begin, Lyndhurst head coach Kim Hykey didn’t know where she was going to get the 50-plus goals that the Golden Bears lost to graduation when Jessica Failace (Sacred Heart) and Gianna DiTonto (Felician) headed off to play college soccer.… Continue Reading

Harrison harriers marching to a different drummer in Kartanowicz

Photos by Jim Hague
TOP: The Harrison boys’ cross country team competed at the Shore Conference
Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park Saturday for the first time. Front row,
from l., are Joshua Vinanzaca, Jorge Moreno, Luis Vivaldo and Nestor Guzman.
Back row, from l., are head coach Paul Kartanowicz, Alexis Vinanzaca, Michael
Mendez, Russell Kennedy, Brandon Alves and assistant coach Carlee Sobotka.
BOTTOM: The Harrison girls’ cross country team gets together after finishing
the course at Holmdel Park. Kneeling, from l., Yeisy Rojas, Ashley Cisneros and
Salma Mohamed. Standing, from l., are head coach Paul Kartanowicz, Kimberly
Merino, Andrea DeOliveira, Olivia Bredamus, Ashley Otoya and assistant coach
Carlee Sobotka.

Although he’s an accomplished musician and drummer for a jazz band that played all sorts of venues in Manhattan, Paul Kartanowicz always envisioned himself as being a cross country coach. “I still race competitively, but I wanted to be able to coach kids,” said Kartanowicz, who still gives private… Continue Reading

NA boys’ soccer: Heading to Bergen tourney

Photo by Jim Hague
The North Arlington boys’ soccer team will play Mahwah this week in the
opening round of the Bergen County Tournament. Kneeling, from l., are Joel
Silva, Ulises Jaramillo and Diego Correa. Standing, from l., are Eric Pace, Ali
Timur, Moises Polanco and head coach Jesse Dembowski.

Jesse Dembowski has been the head boys’ soccer coach at North Arlington High School for seven years now. He’s been able to lead the Vikings to some impressive heights, including last season, when the Vikings won 15 games. But this was supposed to be a trying year, a rebuilding year for… Continue Reading

Lyndhurst’s Guerriero more than your average quarterback

Photo by Jim Hague
Lyndhurst senior quarterback Petey Guerriero.

Petey Guerriero spent the first two years of high school at St. Mary’s of Rutherford, but decided after his sophomore year to make a change. “I wanted to help my Mom (Staci) out financially,” said Guerriero of his transfer back to Lyndhurst High School. “Plus, I knew a lot… Continue Reading

Kearny wins local showdown at Red Bull, defeating Harrison, 5-1

Photos by Jim Hague
TOP: Kearny’s Marcelo Matta (10 in white and with the ball) maneuvers his way
through Harrison defenders Diedery Chamba (8 in blue) and Cristian Marquez
(10 in blue) during Kearny’s 5-1 victory over Harrison at Red Bull Arena Saturday
afternoon. BOTTOM: Kearny’s Ricardo Martins (22 in white) battles Harrison’s
Michael Sousa (22 in blue) during Saturday’s 5-1 Kearny victory in rivals’ annual
showdown at Red Bull Arena

Najarro’s 2 goals give Kards victory; Kearny girls also win HARRISON –  There’s something about playing at the state’s premier soccer palace Red Bull Arena that brings out the best in the Najarro family. First, a year ago, it was Edgar Najarro who scored the go-ahead… Continue Reading

Harrison mourns the loss of beloved Morillo

Photo courtesy Jenny King
The late Jose Morillo (l.) and wife Amy Nicosia Morillo shared this moment
recently in a Lyndhurst park with son Constantino and daughter Maya. Jose
Morillo died last week after collapsing in his home. He was 32 years old.

Amy Nicosia Morillo vividly recalls the day that she met her husband- to-be, Jose, a little more than seven years ago. The Washington School teacher had just organized a dinner for parents and children at La Fiamma Restaurant and Bar to finish the school year. Jose Morillo just happened to be serving… Continue Reading

Nutley’s Merkle becomes school’s all-time rushing leader

Photo by Jim Hague
Nutley senior running back/linebacker Craig Merkle.

Nutley High School’s Craig Merkle had a junior year to remember, collecting 1,229 yards rushing and scoring 19 touchdowns for the Maroon Raiders, leading Nutley to the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV state playoffs. So one would figure that Merkle would be able to duplicate that feat as… Continue Reading