Lyndhurst’s Martin pays tribute to late softball coach

Photos by Jim Hague
Carley Martin may only be 12, but she’s having a ball in life as a basketball
player and softball pitcher, helped by a grandfather figure who passed away
last June. RIGHT: Carley Martin shows the spot on her bedroom wall that was
dedicated to the memory of her coach, the late Jim MacDonald, a.k.a. Coach
Mac, who died last June

Carley Martin is a vivacious, vibrant and extremely intelligent 12-year-old girl. The Lyndhurst resident is also a spectacular young athlete, playing basketball in the winter and softball in the spring. Carley also enjoys writing. “I love to write,” Martin said. “I want to become a journalist one day. I… Continue Reading

Red Bulls now have Wright-Phillips brother act

Photo by Jim Hague
It’s a sign of brotherly love as Bradley Wright-Phillips (l.), the New York Red
Bulls’ leading scorer a year ago, welcomes older brother Shaun to the club at a
press conference at Red Bull Arena last week.

HARRISON –  Who would have ever dreamed that a simple event like the coupling of New York Red Bulls All-Star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips with his fiancée Leanne would pay major dividends for the club six weeks later? As it turned out, the wedding turned out to be a complete blessing in… Continue Reading

Sanacore takes over as Belleville athletic director

Photo by Jim Hague
Dan Sanacore is the new athletic director at Belleville High School, coming
from Irvington, where he spent the last two years. Sanacore is a Belleville

When Tom D’Elia received a promotion to become a vice principal in the Belleville school district, it left a vacancy in the Belleville High School athletic director’s position. Well, the district didn’t wait long to hire a Belleville resident to take over for D’Elia. Dan Sanacore has been tabbed to replace… Continue Reading

Kearny boys’ camp proves that interest in basketball exists

Photo by Jim Hague
The Kearny High School boys’ basketball
camp, under the tutelage
of Kearny head coach Bob McDonnell,
last week while attending
the week-long camp at the high

Jovan George is an aspiring basketball player with a huge upside – his tremendous frame. George is only a 10-year-old fifth grader at Kearny’s Franklin School, but he stands about 5-foot-9, which makes him fit in with any member of the Kearny High freshman class. While George may be four years away… Continue Reading

Nutley American Little League 10s advance to state tournament

Photo courtesy of Joe DeLanzo, Sr.
The Nutley American Little League 9-and-10-year-old All-Stars display the Section 2 championship banner they
earned last Friday night with a 14-9 win over Elmora of Elizabeth, earning a berth in the state tournament this week in

The Nutley American Little League 9-and-10- year-old All-Star team is headed to the New Jersey state tournament. The Nutley Americans earned their berth in the state tourney by coming from behind to defeat Elmora of Elizabeth, 14-9, last Friday night, winning the Section 2 championship. Nutley American had already earned the District… Continue Reading

Kearny Kids’ Kamp draws crowd of baseball-loving youngsters

Photo by Jim Hague
The campers and counselors get together for a group picture at the fourth annual Kearny Kids’ Kamp, run and organized
by Kearny High School head coach Frank Bifulco (second row, far right).

Although he’s far from actually grabbing a baseball and heading to the pitcher’s mound to throw in a Little League game, Michael Jarquin now feels like he’s more than ready. Little Michael, age 7, was excited after participating in the fourth annual Kearny Kids’ Kamp recently, a week-long baseball learning… Continue Reading

Kearny wins Lyndhurst Junior League baseball crown

Photo courtesy Dan Watson
The 8-year-old Kearny All-Stars celebrate after winning the Lyndhurst Junior
Baseball League Tournament championship last week by defeating Hoboken,
4-3, in the title game, capturing “The Tournament” for the first time ever.

For the last quarter century – 26 years to be precise – Lyndhurst has hosted a fantastic baseball tournament strictly for 8-year-old All-Star teams. The double-elimination baseball bonanza features an amazing 16 teams from four different northern New Jersey counties. The tourney is spread out over three full weeks at the Lyndhurst… Continue Reading

Belleville’s Gencarelli named Observer Male Athlete of the Year

Photo by Jim Hague
P.J. Gencarelli of Belleville High School is the recipient of the 2014-2015
Observer Male Athlete of the Year, receiving his award from Observer general
manager Robert Pezzolla. From l. are Belleville athletic director Tom D’Elia, Belleville
volleyball coach John Spina, Pezzolla, Gencarelli and Gencarelli’s parents,
Kelly and Pat.

Soccer, volleyball standout becomes first Buccaneer recipient The first sport that entered P.J. Gencarelli’s life was soccer. “I started when I was about seven or eight,” said the recent Belleville High School graduate. “When I was little, my Dad (Pat) always pushed me to play soccer. After… Continue Reading

Something new: Boys’ basketball camp in NA

Photo by Jim Hague
The initial group of the North Arlington basketball camp gathered for a group picture last week, under the guidance of
high school head coach Rich Corsetto (far r.).

When it comes to learning about the sport of basketball, there’s always room for growth, always room for improvement and always room for something new. Other towns in the area have offered summer basketball camps for youngsters, but unfortunately, for some reason, North Arlington was always on the outside looking in. In the past,… Continue Reading

Lyndhurst’s Failace signs letter to attend Sacred Heart

Photo by Jim Hague
Lyndhurst’s Jessica Failace (seated) signed her national letter of intent to
attend Sacred Heart University in the fall. With Failace, standing from l., are
Lyndhurst soccer and girls’ track coach Kim Hykey, athletic director Jeff Radigan,
Dawn Failace (Jessica’s mother), Mike Failace (Jessica’s father) and Michael
Failace (Jessica’s brother).

Becomes school’s first-ever Division I track athlete It’s a day that Jessica Failace could only dream of happening, but never thought it could actually become reality. But here was Failace, signing a national letter of intent to attend NCAA Division I Sacred Heart in Connecticut on a track… Continue Reading

Nutley’s Anderson named Observer Female Athlete of the Year

Photo courtesy Jim Hague
Nutley’s Carly Anderson (c.) receives her 2014-2015 Observer Female Athlete of the Year award from sports writer Jim
Hague in front of Nutley High School. From l., are Nutley athletic director Joe Piro, Carly’s parents, Harry and Christy Anderson,
Anderson, Hague, head softball coach Luann Zullo and head girls’ basketball coach Larry Mitschow.

Basketball, softball star becomes 3rd Maroon Raider recipient Carly Anderson was asked how she wanted to be remembered as a two-sport athlete at Nutley High School. “I never tried to show myself over everyone,” Anderson said. “I wasn’t a show-off. I kept everything within myself. Everything I did… Continue Reading

Lyndhurst legend Longo dies at 73

Photos courtesy
George Schifano
The late
Tom Longo is
shown in a jumping
and passing photo
from his days at
Notre Dame.

Dick Vitale, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announcer, perhaps summed up the passing of his friend Tom Longo the best. “Tom Longo is a genuine solid gold Hall of Fame father, grandfather and friend and the best athlete to ever come out of Lyndhurst High School,” Vitale said after the passing… Continue Reading

Kearny’s Yuknalis aiming for national Top Gun at grid competition

Photo by Jim Hague
Kearny resident William Yuknalis, a rising senior at Marist High School in Bayonne,
has received an invitation to participate in Football University’s Top Gun
camp in Dublin, Ohio, later this month.

When William Yuknalis first played for the Kearny Generals youth football program, he longed to get the chance to make tackles. “I just loved playing defensive tackle,” Yuknalis said. “I loved the contact.” After spending less than a month at Kearny High School, Yuknalis transferred to Marist in Bayonne, where his… Continue Reading

Shop Rite wins Kearny Little League World Series

Photo courtesy Mike Landy
ShopRite won the Kearny Little League World Series championship last week for the first time. Front row, from l., are
Adam Juchnik, Donavyn Eakins, Jonathan Crist, Gabe Koby, Michael Bernhardt and Nick Rodriguez. Middle row, from l., are
Jake Landy, Connor MacConchie, Andre Vignier, Chris Serrano and Andrew Fernandez. Back row, from l., are coach Chris
Juchnik, coach Keith Koby, Haven Ortiz and head coach Mike Landy.

There was a time in his life when Mike Landy was a successful high school football and baseball coach at Harrison High School. But Landy, the long-time Harrison administrator and current Kearny councilman, stepped away from coaching high school sports a decade ago to focus on his other duties – being… Continue Reading

Long-time friends Malanga, Nisivoccia reunite at All-Star Classic

Photos by Jim Hague
From l., childhood
friends Frank Malanga
of Nutley and
Nutley native Vincent
Nisivoccia of Seton Hall
Prep were reunited
as teammates for the
North squad in the 37th
annual Phil Simms New
Jersey North-South
All-Star Football Classic.

UNION –  Frank Malanga and Vincent Nisivoccia are longtime friends, going back to their middle school days in Nutley. They also played youth football together and were extremely close. “Our mothers are best friends,” Nisivoccia said. “We definitely grew up together.” But when it came time to go to high school,… Continue Reading