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Lyndhurst chef cooks up a storm in ‘Hell’s Kitchen’



Photo courtesy Justin Antiorio
“Hell’s Kitchen” co-finalist Justin Antiorio manages a smile while filming a segment for the popular TV series.

By Jeff Bahr

Observer Correspondent

Chef Justin Antiorio, 30, of Lyndhurst, has kept his hometown in the forefront ever since he entered Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen with 17 other hopefuls to compete for top cooking honors and a grand prize for which any chef would drool.

The sous chef has weathered countless challenges and surmounted numerous obstacles to make it into the top two. On this night he would learn if his quest would take him all the way to the coveted grand prize: a head chef position with a quartermillion dollar annual salary at Gordon Ramsey’s new restaurant in Las Vegas. Actually, that’s misleading. We viewers would learn the final outcome. Filming wrapped in June 2011 and the contestants have kept the results hush, hush – no small feat.

To use a food metaphor, Antiorio’s quest wouldn’t be a cake-walk. Co-finalist Christina Wilson, 32, of Philadelphia, has been hungering for the win as much as Antiorio. And her cooking prowess has proved to be at least on par with Antiorio’s.

For the finale, the duo would compete as head chefs during a dinner service. Each would lead a team of cooks comprised of former contestants eliminated from earlier episodes. Antiorio would lead the blue team and Wilson the red. Each would serve an appetizer and entrée course to assembled guests –a varied group featuring the dueling chefs– family members. After the meal, diners would record their opinions of the food and service on comment cards. Chef Ramsay would take these into consideration before rendering his final decision.

As the show progressed it became obvious that neither competitor was going to run away with the title. This would be a real fight – right down to the wire! The grand finale would also contrast the leadership styles of each chef. Antiorio, much like Ramsay, barked out orders to his team members, while Wilson took a more laissez-faire approach by telling her team that she wouldn’t answer to the title of chef during the dinner service – they were all in this thing together.

Both teams made their share of mistakes and suffered setbacks, but both managed to get things back on track. As the end neared and frustration set in, Wilson’s laid back persona suddenly changed. This was for all the marbles and she let her team know it in a spirited tone.

At the end of the dinner service, Chef Ramsay congratulated both contestants for their “amazing” job and set off for his office where he would make his final decision.

As he pondered who would win, he recalled Antonio’s unmatched palette – that he was in fact the only contestant ever to register a perfect score during blind taste tests. He also recalled that some of Wilson’s dishes were among the best that he’d tasted. Hmm…

Each contestant stood before separate doors during the moment of truth. One of these was locked and one wasn’t. The contestant fortunate enough to stand before the unlocked door would be this year’s champion. After Ramsay issued a short countdown he directed the contestants to turn their knobs. Three, two, one, twist… And the winner is: Christina Wilson! Justin Antiorio of Lyndhurst was the proud runner-up.

Although disappointed by the outcome, Antiorio was quite generous with his praise for Wilson and said that he had no regrets.

“When I turned the knob and the door didn’t open, my heart dropped,” said Antiorio of the big moment. “

Although I was upset, because like every other person in the world no one wants to lose, I remember Chef Ramsay telling me to hold my head high because I had nothing to be ashamed of and at that time it hit me; I had given everything I could during my time in Hell’s Kitchen …

As I got closer and closer to the final competition I was at peace with the fact that I have God-given talent as a chef and that I will always be focused on making food that people love to eat and I will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen.”

As for Antiorio’s hopes for the future, you might say that he has concocted a very tasty plan.

“I truly feel I demonstrated that I am an accomplished and skilled chef and am ready to run my own kitchen and show my leadership skills on my own terms,” said Antiorio. “Chef Ramsay was a great influence for me and I learned a lot from him. But, to be honest, I am more than ready to move forward and to take everything I learned and use it in life and in the kitchen of my own restaurant someday soon. Thank you to all my family and friends who supported me throughout the entire Hell’s Kitchen experience – especially all of my New Jersey people! You haven’t heard the last from me.”

Armed man subdued after wild car chase, stabbing

At 4:50 p.m. Nutley Police were called to the parking lot of a Franklin Avenue bank on a report of a man with a weapon. Upon arrival, officers learned that a man with a knife had been subdued by onlookers.

Police said their investigation disclosed that the man, Sefer Nasufi, 33, of Pompton Plains, had had a dispute with another man over a girlfriend and had struck the other man’s car at Vincent Place and Chestnut St. after traveling on the wrong side of the road while passing several vehicles.

When the victim pulled into the driveway, police say Nasufi again hit his rival’s car, then exited his vehicle and began chasing the other man with a knife, yelling that he was going to kill him. Police said the pair struggled and Nasufi stabbed the victim in his left forearm, causing a two-inch cut.

Taking custody of Nasufi, police said an officer spotted a yellow pill wrapped in cellophane sticking out of the suspect’s shirt pocket and a search of the suspect produced four more pills wrapped in a paper towel. The pills were later identified as oxycodone.

Nasufi was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, terrorist threats, possession of a weapon and possession of drugs. He was also issued summonses for reckless driving and failure to keep right. Bail was set at $100,000 with a 10 percent cash option. Nasufi was released after posting bail, pending a court appearance.

In other incidents logged by Nutley P.D. during the past week:

Sept. 11

At 8:22 p.m. a Bloomfield Avenue resident called in a report of a house burglary. Police said the resident had left the house locked and, upon returning, noticed several items valued at about $3,000 missing. Police said they found no sign of forced entry.

Sept. 10

• At 10 p.m. police said someone took a River Road resident’s 2008 Toyota RAV4 from its parking spot. Police said they found no sign of broken glass or debris.

• At 4:55 p.m. police received a walk-in report on a suspected fraud. Police said the victim was contacted about an open lien on their account due to an unpaid AT&T bill but the victim never had such an account.

• At 2:59 p.m. police were contacted about someone having “keyed” a car parked in the Nutley High School parking lot. Police said the car’s front door and rear corner panel were damaged.

• At 2:46 p.m. a Franklin Avenue business reported a theft. Police said the business representative told them a customer, with whom they’d done business for the past decade, ordered some softball uniforms last March, left a deposit and picked up the uniforms, promising to pay the balance, but has never returned and isn’t responding to correspondence from the store. Police said they’ve tried to reach the individual.

• At 12:38 p.m. police received a report about a broken glass light fixture at a Hope Street residence. No known suspects have turned up, police said.

Sept. 8

At 8:59 a.m. police were called to a location on Ideal Court on a report of a neighborhood dispute which turned physical and resulted in the arrest of Joseph Barone, 50, of Nutley, on charges of burglary and two counts of simple assault. Barone was released on $50,000 bail pending a court appearance.

• At 3:29 a.m. police were called to a Bloomfield Avenue residence on a report of a robbery. The victims told police they were sitting on their porch when a man described as black, with a goatee, about 5-feet-10, wearing a black shirt, black pants and a white head wrap got out of the passenger side of a mid-90s Chevrolet Astro van and asked for their money. If they refused, the man told them, his partner in the van was going to start shooting. No weapon was displayed, the victims told police. Both turned over cash to the man, who then demanded more before rushing back to the van which then sped away. Police said the victims couldn’t see the driver, nor could they provide the van’s plate number. Police said they alerted other communities about the incident.

• At 2:57 a.m. police monitoring traffic along River Road noticed a yellow motorcycle do a “wheelie.” When an officer drove behind the cycle, police said the driver accelerated to speeds of up to 80 mph on Rt. 21 South. Police said the officer activated his lights and siren to stop the driver who, when asked for his paperwork, admitted he had a suspended license. Police said the driver, Marcellus Williams, 34, of Passaic, was wanted in Bergen County. As Williams was being placed under arrest, police said they found on him five plastic vacuum-packed and sealed bags containing a green leafy substance suspected of being marijuana, along with two rolls of cash totaling $1,614. He was charged with possession and distribution of marijuana and was issued summonses for careless driving, speeding and driving while suspended. He was held for pickup by Bergen County authorities.

— Ron Leir

Around Town


Belleville Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is offering help with information about benefits and services available for veterans. The DAV Mobile Service Office will be on location at the Disabled American Veterans, Belleville-Nutley Chapter #22, 612 Mills St., Belleville, on Oct. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to provide counseling and claim filing assistance free to all veterans and members of their families.

For further information regarding these events, please contact Nicholas Bernardi at (973) 297-3378.


The Bloomfield Library Book Club will meet on Monday, Oct. 1, at 6:45 p.m. in the conference room to discuss “Arthur and George” by Julian Barnes.

Barnes has won numerous prestigious literary awards in France, the Netherlands and his native England.

For more information or to request help in locating a cop of the book club selection, please call the Reference Desk at 973-566-6200, ext. 502.

The library has resumed its computer tutoring classes. Student volunteers from Bloomfield College provide one-on-one tutoring – by appointment. Appointments for basic sessions are available on weekdays. If you miss your tutoring appointment without calling to notify the library ahead of time you will not be rescheduled. To register, call 973-566-6200, ext. 502.

The library is changing its hours to: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. These changes will be effective Oct. 1. Please address any comments to the library’s administrative office at 973-566-6200, ext. 204.


Harrison Fire Department will begin its four-week hydrant-flushing program throughout Harrison beginning the week of Oct. 1, Monday through Friday, from 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Flushing removes harmless minerals that collect in the water mains, helping to maintain the integrity of the distribution system by keeping the water lines clean. It is also necessary for fire protection because flushing ensures that the hydrants are working properly.

Residents will experience low water pressure and discolored water. While the water is safe to drink, customers may prefer to wait until it runs clear before drinking or washing clothes or dishes.

For more information, call the Harrison Water Department at 973-268-2431.

Council 402 of the Knights of Columbus, Harrison, will have a special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison. All members are urged to attend this important meeting.


Calvary United Methodist Church will have its annual picnic on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Riverbank Park, Kearny, (across from Dunkin’ Donuts) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kearny High School Class of 2002’s 10-year reunion will be held on Friday, Oct. 19 at the Fiesta in Wood-Ridge, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., featuring a five-hour premium open bar, full buffet and entertainment.

Price is $77.50 per person ($155 with guest) and can be made via PayPal to kearnyhs2002@gmail.com

Visit their Facebook page “KHS Class of 2002 Reunion” for more details.

Kearny UNICO will host an Italian Heritage event on Sunday, Oct. 7, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the Henrietta Benstead Senior Center, 60 Columbia Ave., Kearny. Admission is free.

The event will include such activities as an Italian lesson, Italian songs and music, bocce play and rules, Italian food tastings and much, much more.

Although the event is provided free of charge, individuals interested in attending are asked to contact Kearny UNICO Vice President Joseph Sgalia by calling 201-998-6879 or email joeys1218@aol.com to reserve a seat.

Anyone interested in learning more about or joining Kearny UNICO should also contact Joseph Sgalia or Chapter President Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409.

A Creative Minds Lego’s workshop will be held at the West Hudson Family Success Center, 655 Kearny Ave., Suite 103, Kearny, on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. This workshop’s goal is to inspire creativity, team building skills and much more. For more information, call 201-998- 0803.


Author Rita Gigante from Tappan, N.Y. will sign and do a reading from her book “The Godfather’s Daughter- A message of Love, Healing and Redemption” on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Mystical World Bookstore, 648 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst. There will be books for purchase or bring your pre-purchased books for signing. For more info visit www.mysticalworld.net or call 201-896-3999.

The Lyndhurst Health Department will hold free flu vaccine clinics available to Lyndhurst residents, age 18 and older, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2 -4 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 25 and 28 and Oct. 2 and 4. Proof of township residency is required. Medicare recipients must present their Medicare cards at the time of the clinic.

The Lyndhurst Health Department will hold its biannual Women’s Health Clinic on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 9:30 a.m. This free event, made possible through a partnership with Clara Maass Medical Center, includes education on breast self-examination and a pelvic exam performed by Dr. Cheatam. The Lyndhurst Women’s Health Clinic is open to all female Lyndhurst residents age 18 years and over. Please call 201-804-2500 to make an appointment.

Lyndhurst Public Library will host “Ireland: Tea, Food and Folklore” on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., hosted by Food Historian Judith Krall- Russo. Space is limited. To register, email romeo@bccls.org or call 201-804-2478, ext. 7.

Lyndhurst High School class of 1947 will be holding a class reunion on Saturday, Oct. 6, at San Carlo’s restaurant, Lyndhurst, starting at 6 p.m. For more information on other events to be held on that weekend, please call Ann Montillo at 201-939-6340. Classmates that cannot attend should call Ann with updated information.

Get an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s scenic beauty and wildlife with a two-hour guided pontoon boat cruise of the Hackensack River and its surrounding marshes on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. This will be the last tour of the season.

Experienced NJMC staff will discuss the region’s human and environmental history and point out birds and other wildlife along the way.

Pontoon boat cruise departs from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt.

Recommended for ages 10 and up. Cost is $15 per person. Pre-registration required. Call 201-460-4640.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission will host a free program on safe seafood consumption, “Should I tell my children and grandchildren to eat the fish and crabs they catch?” on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 2-3:30 p.m., at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst.

Join Meadowlands Environment Center Director Dr. Angela Cristini as she introduces you to the seafood you eat and discusses the benefits, risks and preparation of seafood. Compete for prizes in our “Marsh Jeopardy” game. For more information, call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec

Bugs and Beasts: Drawing Safari for Kids, a wildlife adventure combining art and science, will be held at the Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. Recommended for ages 8 to 12 (accompanied by an adult), young explorers will learn to draw animals like a scientist and then go on a mini-safari. Find animals to study and draw. Take-home supplies included, but the critters get released. The cost is $10 per child/$8 MEC members. For more information, call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec

The Lyndhurst Woman’s Club is sponsoring a bus trip to Crossings Outlets and Mount Airy Casino on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The bus will depart from the Transit Lot by the Shop Rite in Lyndhurst at 8:30 a.m. Shopping will take place between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; then the group will go to the casino and depart for home at 6 p.m. For tickets or further information call Janet at 201- 935-1208.

Mayor Giangeruso and the Lyndhurst Board of Commissioners announces Lyndhurst’s first annual Columbus Day celebration, sponsored by Mr. Bruno’s, 439 Valley Brook Ave., on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 4 to 10 p.m. (Rain date Saturday, Oct. 7, from 2 to 8 p.m.)

North Arlington

North Arlington Public Library will host Storytime for children ages 2 to 5 on Wednesday, Sept. 19 and 26, at 11:45 a.m.

On Thursday, Sept. 20, the library will have a Storytime at 7 p.m. for children ages 2 to 5, sponsored by the NA Women’s Club.

On Friday, Sept. 21, the library will have an YA Movie Day, for grades 6 and up, at 3 p.m.

The library’s Tween Book Club, for grades 4 to 8, will meet on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m. An Origami Club for grades 4 and up will meet on Friday, Sept. 28, at 3:30 p.m.

North Arlington Health Department is scheduling its flu clinics by appointment only for residents age 18 and older on Monday, Oct. 1, Tuesday, Oct. 2, and Wednesday, Oct. 3. Appointments times will be 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. for each day.

An evening clinic, also by appointment, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. for residents age 18 and older.

The vaccine is offered free of charge for those covered by traditional Medicare Part B. Medicare card MUST be presented at the time of immunization.

There will be a $20 fee for those not covered by Medicare. Annual vaccination for the flu is especially recommended for adults age 50 and over and for those who have chronic conditions, such as: heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, severe anemia and conditions which require immunosuppressive therapy, as well as for those who can spread influenza to those at high risk.

For appointment or information, please call the Health Department at 201-955-5695.


Students in grades 3 to 12 are welcome to audition for Nutley Parks and Recreation Department’s its winter musical production “The Music Man.”

All 3rd and 4th grade students who register will be part of the chorus; principal roles will be assigned to 7th-12th graders. Auditions will take place and on Sept. 24 (grades 5-6 at the Parks and Recreation building) and 25 (grades 7 to 12 at John Walker Middle School), with callbacks by appointment on Sept. 26.

Performance dates will be Jan. 10, 11 and 12. All those interested must pre-register at the Parks and Recreation building to obtain your audition packet. Numbers will be issued the night of auditions on a first-come first-serve basis.

For further information, please contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 973-284-4966. A pep rally/dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new turf field at Monsignor Owens Park in Nutley will be held on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m.

The rally will include the Jr. Raider Football program and the Recreation Flag Football, cheerleading and soccer programs promoting unity and school spirit.

The many benefits of the new field include protecting the safety of the young athletes, improved playability in inclement weather and annual savings on field maintenance. The walking track is also an added bonus for residents to enjoy.

For more information on this or any recreation-sponsored event, please call 973-284-4966, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

A “Save the Post” fundraiser will be held at 6:30 p.m., Saturday Sept. 22 at Nutley’s American Legion Post 70, 45 Franklin Ave. Tickets are priced at $45 per person and can be purchased at the door or by calling 973-562-6508.


Kearny residents participate in second annual Bicycle Safety Fair

Photos by Karen Zautyk
TOP: KPD Officer Jack Corbett etches serial number onto cycle, for use in case it’s ever lost or stolen. RIGHT: Youngsters maneuver bikes through mini-obstacle course in Kearny Federal parking lot.

After last year’s inaugural event was rained out, the Kearny Police Department gave its annual Bicycle Safety Fair a second try this past weekend — and the response was fantastic.

The fair, held from 1 to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the Kearny Federal Savings Bank on Kearny Avenue, brought out more than 100 kids — most of whom showed up even before the event began.

“By 20 minutes to one, the line was down the block and around the bank,” reported Officer Jack Grimm of the Community Policing (COP) unit.

Co-sponsoring the fair were Kearny Federal and the Kearny Optimist Club, which club member and Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle noted, donated 100 bicycle helmets to the project. The bank, said Branch Manager Georgeanna McDonough, sponsored a free drawing in which two youngsters, one boy and one girl, would win a $100 gift card to buy a new bike at Walmart.

Also helping out at the program were the Elks Club and the American Red Cross.

The cyclists attending the fair zig-zagged through a mini-obstacle course and learned about street-riding safety–such as avoiding storm drains and entering intersections. The “street” they crossed was actually in the lot and was bordered by some pretty nifty carboard cutouts of shrubbery and a fence, created by students at Franklin School.

Officer John Fabula was on hand to do bicycle repairs and tune-ups, and Officer Jack Corbett etched serial numbers onto the cycles. The KPD is setting up a database of these numbers to help recover lost or stolen bikes, Grimm explained.

Other COP Unit members who participated were Sgt. Peter Caltabellotta and Officers Steve Montanino and Mike Ryan. Ryan was among those who recently completed the four-day, 300- mile Police Unity Tour bike ride to Washington, D.C., an event honoring officers who have died in the line of duty.

— Karen Zautyk

Lyndhurst girls’ soccer squad off to solid start

Photo by Jim Hague
Lyndhurst girls’ soccer squad off to solid start The Lyndhurst girls’ soccer team should, once again, contend for league and state honors this season. Front row, from
left, are Dina Ingenito, Jacqui Conley, Brittany Ferreira and Joanne Arvanitakis. Back row, from left, are Gianna Zaino, Bianca Fata, head coach Kim Hykey, Sara Barreiros and Camila Alonso.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Lyndhurst girls’ soccer head coach Kim Hykey didn’t know how well her team would fare this season, considering the Golden Bears graduated 12 seniors from last year’s squad.

“It’s not easy to fill the slots with 12 seniors gone,” said Hykey, the school’s all-time leading scorer who went on to play at Seton Hall and became the head coach at her alma mater three years ago. “We really haven’t found our starting 11 yet. We’ve been switching around kids throughout the scrimmages. We’re still trying to find ourselves. I’m happy that we’re still able to win while we’re trying to find ourselves.”

The Golden Bears won their first three games against Dwight-Englewood, Harrison and Leonia, so they’re well on their way to another successful season. But Hykey has been a little concerned with the way the Bears have been playing.

“We have a lack of accuracy in finishing our shots,” Hykey said. “Our shots are not quality shots. I think a lot of that is because we’re still not set with our lineup.”

The Golden Bears are set in goal, as junior Bianca Fata returns. Fata started the 2011 season as the starting goalkeeper, then moved into the regular lineup once Amanda Uhlick returned to action after rehabbing a knee injury.

“Bianca has some experience in the goal,” Hykey said. “She had a good summer in our summer league and she’s showing signs that she’s a lot more comfortable. I just need her to play with a little sense of urgency there.”

The team’s sweeper is junior Dina Ingenito, who was the stopper last season.

“She was a sweeper growing up, but she waited her turn while Nicole Baratta was there,” Hykey said of Ingenito, who moves over to replace the All-Bergen County defender now at Ramapo College. “She’s done fabulously well. I’ve had opposing coaches say to me, `Where did this kid come from?’ She’s really stepped up her play big time. She felt it was her turn and she’s taking charge back there.”

The stopper is freshman Joanne Arvanitakis, who has also done a fine job.

“It is asking a lot to put a freshman back there, but she can do it,” Hykey said. “She doesn’t say a lot, so on the field, that’s a bad thing. We need her to communicate more. It’s tough going from recreation and travel soccer to varsity. But with each game, she’s getting more experienced. We’re easing her into it and we hope by the end of the year, she’ll be polished there.”

The other defenders are senior Camila Alonso, the basketball standout, and juniors Nicolette Carrion and Brittany Ferreira.

“Camila didn’t play soccer last year, but we’re fortunate to have her come back,” Hykey said. “She’s a very good athlete.”

The center midfielder is junior Amanda Nowak, who is one of the best midfielders in the NJIC. Nowak had 18 goals and 12 assists last year.

“We play through her when we’re doing well,” Hykey said. “She has a very strong leg and creates a lot.”

Another midfielder is sophomore Giana DiTonto, who has shown a lot of promise thus far.

“She needs to be a little more of a leader on the field,” Hykey said. “She has just as strong of a leg as Nowak has.” Senior Dana Halligan, a returning starter, is also in the midfield.

“Dana is one of the best passers around,” Hykey said. “She sees the field well. She does a lot for us with the tools she has.”

Senior Alexandra Crujeiras is another fine midfielder for the Bears. Junior Gianna DeLuca also sees time in the midfield, where the Bears are deep and talented.

Junior Grace Tomko is the Bears’ main target on the front line. Tomko had 17 goals last season and has already started the 2012 season off with a bang, scoring threee goals in the win over Harrison and six total in the first three games.

“She’s so physical and she’s so much of a presence,” Hykey said. “We need her to do more this year and she absolutely can. She’s a great kid and a hard worker. She’s a pleasure to have on our team.”

The other starting forward is sophomore Jessica Failace, who is also showing signs of being a dominant scorer.

“She can run forever,” Hykey said. “The girl simply doesn’t get tired. She’s also a good scorer as well.”

The Golden Bears are blessed to have depth up front as well, using senior Tesnean Abu-Hakmeh and juniors Cassie Franchino and Alyssa Pipon to contribute some scoring punch.

All in all, Hykey likes her team.

“I like what’s there,” Hykey said. “The potential is there. We just need to come together a little more.”

The Golden Bears have a tough week ahead, with matches scheduled against Hasbrouck Heights, neighboring rival Queen of Peace and Cresskill on tap.

“I think we’ll get to know a little more about ourselves after this upcoming week,” Hykey said.

Count on Nowak and Tomko, two of the best players around, to lead the Golden Bears to another double-digit win season and a berth in both the Bergen County and NJSIAA state tournaments.

Vikings move on without graduated standouts

Photo by Jim Hague
The North Arlington boys’ soccer team features a solid sophomore class and looks to improve over last year’s nine-win campaign. From left are Ed Lozada, P.J. Sirotiak, Justin Cerisola, Kevin Goffredo, John Cerisola, Gabe Rossi and head coach Jesse Dembowski.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

It’s never easy when a soccer team loses a two-time 25-goal scorer and an All-League goalkeeper.

That’s what the North Arlington boys’ soccer team is trying to endure, after four-year starting net minder Robert Marrero and Observer Male Athlete of the Year Tyler Krychkowski graduated and moved on to collegiate soccer.

“We basically had to revamp how we’ve been playing,” said Jesse Dembowski, who began his third season as the head coach of the Vikings this fall. “We had to establish more of a passing game. We’re working on team chemistry without Tyler, who was our leader, and Robert. We don’t have a scorer like Tyler, but if we can pass the ball, move it around more, we can get better shots.”

Dembowski believes that the passing attack approach is working.

“We definitely have a much better passing game and we don’t have to rely on one person to take the shots,” Dembowski said. “We’re taking the shots where we have the ability to do so.”

So far, the approach has worked, as the Vikings are off to a solid 2-2 start, despite the major losses to graduation.

Senior Kevin Goffredo is the Vikings’ starting goalkeeper. Goffredo has already recorded a shutout win over McNair Academic of Jersey City and is getting more comfortable with his starting role.

“He’s adapting to it,” Dembowski said. “He’s been very aggressive and he’s controlling the defense. He’s already made a lot of impressive saves. It’s a huge relief for me, knowing that we had someone who could step in and take over the position like he’s owned it. He’s done a fine job.”

Senior Justin Cerisola, one of two identical twins on the squad, is the team’s sweeper.

“He’s done very well and controls the defense well back there,” Dembowski said. “He understands the position and has taken it as a challenge. He also knows where his other defenders are.”

Junior P.J. Sirotiak is the team’s stopper. Sirotiak has moved over from the wing positions he played last year.

“He’s a very intense player who is full of energy,” Dembowski said. “He works well with Justin. They listen to each other and he communicates well. He definitely fills a void at that position.”

The other two defenders are John Cerisola, the other twin, and Gabe Rossi.

“I feel very comfortable with our back line,” Dembowski said. “They’re getting good chemistry together. They’ve even started some attacks from the back and I like that. It’s a huge thing to have that ability.”

Junior Danny Cordeiro is the Vikings’ center midfielder. Cordeiro scored five goals in limited action last year, missing most of the season with an ankle injury.

“Even with that, he had about 10 assists, so I knew if he was healthy, he would do fine,” Dembowski said.

Cordeiro is more than fine, having found the net four times in the win over McNair.

“He definitely controls the midfield,” Dembowski said. “I think he’s going to have a big season.”

Junior Derek Perez is the team’s workhorse. Perez is not the biggest guy around, but he gives of himself every time he laces up the cleats.

“Derek is a hard worker who just keeps going and going,” Dembowski said. “He also knows the game well. He runs circles around the opponents. He’s just a tough kid.”

Freshman Marvin Caballero has been a pleasant surprise at midfield.

“He has good size and strength,” Dembowski said. “He’s come in and given us a huge lift.”

Sophomore Jose Ruiz rounds out the midfield.

“We really have a good sophomore class that is going to help us down the road,” Dembowski said. “Jose is already really experienced and he has another two years with us.”

Sophomore Conrad Malinowski, another of that talented class of Viking sophomores, is a solid forward.

“He does a very good job of supporting the midfield,” Dembowski said.

Joseph Cappelluti, yet another sophomore, is the other starting forward.

Dembowski is also getting solid play from senior defender Bilil Jahic, a transfer from Bosnia, who is fitting in well, sophomore midfielder Frank Pace and sophomore defender Ed Lozada.

“As long as the chemistry stays together, we should do alright,” Dembowski said. “We’re playing well together right now. When they’re on, they’re very good. We just need a little consistency right now. As long as we get that, we should have a good season.”

And who knows? Maybe the Vikings can win more games than they did last year, when they had nine wins, including an opening round win in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I state playoffs.

“We have to hope for that,” Dembowski said.

Kearny’s Pesantez off to torrid start continued next page Kearny junior forward Andres Pesantez. Photo by

Photo by Jim Hague
Kearny junior forward Andres Pesantez.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Before the 2012 high school soccer season began, Kearny High School head boys’ soccer coach Bill Galka wondered how in the world he would replace the 27 goals that striker Junior Batista scored last season en route to the Kardinals capturing the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV state title.

All along, junior Andres Pesantez knew that he was ready to step up and be a dominant scoring threat.

“I put it in my head that this was my year,” Pesantez said. “Junior and I play different styles, but I knew that if I kept working hard, playing my game, that I could be a top scorer. I wanted to be one of the leading scorers.”

But no one could have imagined what Pesantez would provide for the Kardinals in the early stages of the new season.

In four games, all wins, Pesantez has found the net nine times. He had consecutive hat tricks in wins over Memorial and Ferris, had two more against Bayonne and scored the game-winner in a big match against former Watchung Conference foe Westfield last Saturday.

“I’m following every shot,” Pesantez said. “I’m going to the net and asking my teammates to pass me the ball. I’m looking for the shot more. So far, it’s been right there. I’m getting the ball and just scoring.”

For his efforts, Pesantez has been named The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week. He is the first honoree of the 2012-2013 scholastic sports season, culminating in the presentations of The Observer Male and Female Athletes of the Year, sometime in June, 2013.

Galka said that he’s not surprised by Pesantez’s goalscoring explosion.

“I’m really not stunned by it,” Galka said. “He’s always been a good player for us. He’s crafty and knows how to get to the ball. He raised some eyebrows last year with the way he played. Did I know he’d have nine goals? No, but I expected him to be a good scorer. I just didn’t expect this much so soon. I always knew he had great ability since he worked with us when he was a freshman.”

Galka likes Pesantez’s approach to the game.

“He’s quick around the ball,” Galka said. “Guys are getting him the ball in good spots, but a couple of his goals, he’s taken the ball around the keeper to get it in. He has a good shot, but now he’s finishing plays. He’s been opportunistic as well. He’s scoring in different situations.”

Pescantez arrived in the United States from his native Ecuador when he was 10 years old. Having already played soccer in Ecuador, he was ecstatic to learn that soccer was the key sport to play when he came to Kearny.

“It was like, ‘Wow,’ ” Pesantez said. “I was so happy. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what it was going to be like here. Soccer was the only sport I played in Ecuador. Soccer is my life. I was glad to have something to look forward to here.”

Galka loves the way that Pesantez has handled his early success.

“He’s happy and humble,” Galka said. “His confidence should be high, after back-toback hat tricks. And I think he’s only going to get better. He’s certainly already been very good, but we have a lot of games ahead and I think he’s going to improve. He’s been sharp in the early games, but he has to continue. He’s a soccer junkie who loves playing the game. We never have a problem with him.”

Galka said that there might only be one slight obstacle in the weeks to come.

“Now that he’s known a little and building a reputation, it brings attention from the other teams,” Galka said. “That’s the challenge for him. Teams are going to watch him more closely, double him and triple him. But it never hurts to get goals like this early. I don’t want to put pressure on him to try to score every goal. We’re not looking for him to do that. But he’s definitely stepped up and become a leader.

Added Galka, “He’s coming of age now. He’s taking that challenge and handling it well.”

Pesantez knows that the goals can’t keep coming at the pace they’ve arrived at in the early part of the season. The competition gets tougher. His name becomes more known.

“Right now, I’m really happy with the way I’m playing,” Pesantez said. “I know it’s not going to happen every time. I’ve been thinking about what I have to do. I had about three friends who came up to me and said, `Wow, people are now going to know who you are.’ I knew that there were people who didn’t know me. They will now and I’m ready for that. I just want to keep it going.”

In any respect, it’s a historic beginning for a humble kid who just loves soccer and is now getting a chance to shine in the spotlight.

Real Estate Review: Is now the time to downsize?

Karen DeRose
Coldwell Banker
Clifton Office
Office: (973) 778-4500
Direct: (973) 778-4500 Ext. 144
Cell: (973) 580-6445
Fax: (862) 345-3516


For many families, this month brings with it some significant milestones. Teenagers across the country will move from their home and enter the college dormitory. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, this fall, a record 21.6 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities. Teenagers across the nation have been eagerly packing their belongings and moving from home towards their bright new futures.

This leaves many empty nesters planning their bright new futures as well and wondering what to do with the family home. Is it the right time to sell? Will the sale enable the family to afford college tuition and purchase another home at the right price and size? There are numerous factors to consider when making a decision on one of the largest investments a family will make.

Recent statistics may help in making that decision. According to a recent release by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), sales of existing homes rose 10.4 percent higher in July when compared to July 2011. The national median existing-home price for all housing types in July was up 9.4 percent from a year ago and shows five consecutive months of year-over-year increases.

Many industry watchers attribute this increase to lower inventory levels across the nation. Additionally, the market is ripe for homebuyers. Affordability is the best that it has been in years, mortgage rates are still historically low and financing is available for those who qualify.

These factors make it an incredibly advantageous time for empty nesters. If a homeowner purchased a home 10 or more years ago, the home could have a wealth of equity and offer a significant return on investment if sold in today’s market.

To learn if the time is right for you, speak to a sales professional at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Using information from various reliable sources your Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage sales professional can provide you with and explain the precise factors that could impact you in your decision making process. You may just discover that now really is the perfect time to move toward your bright new future.




Grace (Gratzo) Bivona, 90, died on Sept. 11 in the Bayshore Community Hospital, Holmdel.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral service at the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny on Wednesday Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery North Arlington. Visiting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com

She was born in Old Forge, Pa., and lived in Harrison and Kearny before moving to Belford 35 years ago.

Grace is survived by her children Charles Bivona (Maureen) and Deborah Smith; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Charles “Ducky” Bivona and her granddaughter Theresa Nieves.



Harold “Buddy” Eccles, 81, of Toms River Township died on Monday, Sept. 10, at home.

Born Dec. 25, 1930 in Jersey City, he lived in Kearny, before moving to Toms River in 1980.

Harold served in the U.S. Army during World War II and Korean War. He worked as a truck driver for Tose Trucking in Jersey City for 28 years, retiring in 1978.

He was a member of the Teamsters local 641 Jersey City, American Legion George Vanderveer Post 129, Toms River, The Old Guard, East Dover and the Dover Senior Center. Harold was also an instrumental member of the committee to change the name of Dover Township to Toms River Township. He was a huge Eagles Fan.

Harold is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Rose M. (nee Blakitis); three daughters: Linda Gonzalez of Dover, Janice Ramos and Donna Tancordo, both of Toms River; a brother David A., of Lake Hiawatha, and a sister Jane Pezzino of New Mexico. He also raised three of his 10 grandchildren.: John, Christine, Jason, Michael, Christian, Sandi, Roseann, Diane, Jessica and Daniel and had 16 great-grandchildren who all loved him dearly.

Arrangements were by the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals, Toms River. His service and entombment were held on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the funeral home and Ocean County Memorial Park, Toms River, respectively. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com


William P. Hedderman Jr., of El Paso, Texas, passed away on Aug. 13.

Born Dec. 24, 1939 in Newark, he was the son of the late William P. Hedderman Sr. and Margaret Hedderman (nee Gassert). Mr. Hedderman was raised in Harrison. He attended Holy Cross School and graduated in 1958 from St. Cecilia’s High School, Kearny.

Bill relocated to El Paso in the mid-1960’s. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1967. He was an octane specialist and petro-chem engineer for Standard Oil (Chevron), retiring in 1999 after 32 years of service for the company. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 50 years. After his retirement, he continued to enjoy the outdoors, hunting and fishing, while traveling in his RV. He cherished time with friends and family, and loved to reminisce about dates and events.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Frances Hedderman (nee Tracy); children William Hedderman III (Leann), Joseph Hedderman (Lidia) and Michele Hedderman (April). He was the proud grandfather of Joseph Jr., Jason, Ashley, Justin, Amanda (Kevin Devenport), and Elisabeth, and great-grandfather of Madalyn Devenport and Cameron Devenport; survived by his sister, Margaret Powell (Thomas) of Harrison, sisters-in-law Josie Tracy and Mary Ann Spohn, cherished nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, many cousins, his dear aunt Rosemary Moore of Harrison and uncle Joseph Kelley of Naples, Fla.

After services at St. Raphael’s Church, El Paso, his final resting place is Fort Bliss National Cemetery.


Lois E. (Field) Smith, 89, a lifelong resident of Savannah, Ga., and most recently of Parkersburg, W.Va., passed away Sunday, Sept., 9, at Ohio Valley Health Care in Parkersburg, W.Va.

Lois was born Feb. 10, 1923 in Kearny, a daughter of the late Amos and Sarah (Nichols) Field. She was a graduate of Kearny High School and also the Jersey City School of Nursing. She served in the Cadet Nursing Corps during World War II and spent most of her life as a public health nurse. She was also a homemaker who loved gardening, the ocean, and traveling. She was a Girl Scout leader for many years in Savannah, Ga. and a member of the Savannah Garden Club. She was Episcopal by faith.

She is survived by her sister, Ruth Duggan of Parkersburg, W.Va., along with numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-greatnieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Samuel W. Smith III; sister, Evelyn Johnston; brother, Robert Field, and nephew, David Johnston.

Graveside services will be 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 24, at Arlington Cemetery, Kearny. Services were held previously at the Leavitt Funeral Home, Parkersburg, W.Va.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.leavittfuneralhome.com


Edward F. Stypul died on Sept. 15 in St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was 90. Born in Harrison, he lived many years in Kearny and Florida before moving to Clifton two years ago.

Visiting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. Service and entombment will take place in Largo, Fla. under the direction of Moss Feaster Funeral Home. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Ed served in the Navy during WWII and went onto a career with the Department of the Air Force as a supply agent. He later worked for the Veteran Administration in Florida.

Husband of the late Alice (nee Collins), he is survived by his sons Ronald (Desa) Stypul and Bryan Stypul; his grandchildren Matthew (Sara), Amanda and Jason Stypul and Melissa (Matthew) Corey.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Polish National Home, 215 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, N.J. 07029.

Belleville Police blotter

Sept. 13

Ernest Truss, 41, of Belleville, was arrested at 11:47 a.m., for possession of drugs. He was carried an active $250 warrant out of Elizabeth. Truss was held on $2,000 bail.

A Belleville man told police that he was assaulted by three men with a weapon at 7:40 p.m. The men were said to be traveling in an “older Toyota” according to police. Police didn’t disclose the location.

Sept. 11

At 11:20 a.m., officers arrested 54-year-old James Miller of Belleville for possession of drugs at Watchung Ave. and Rutgers St. After running a background check, they learned that Miller also carried an outstanding $500 Highland Park warrant. He was held on that warrant.

Sept. 10

At 11:45 a.m., Pedro Saboon, 37, of Belleville, was arrested for receiving stolen property. Saboon had a laptop computer in his possession at the time of his arrest. He was held on bail the amount of which was undisclosed by police.

Carlos Gorodillo, 30, of Newark, was arrested for shoplifting $15 worth of baby formula at the Pathmark store, 115 Belmont Ave., at 1:22 p.m. He was held on $200 bail.

At 1:32 p.m., a burglary was reported on Joralemon St. The intruder(s) gained entry by forcing open the front door, according to police. No description of the perpetrator(s) was given and nothing appeared to be missing from the premises.

At 2:10 p.m., burglaries were reported on Malone and Tiona. Nothing was reported missing at either residence. A description of a “black male” was given for the perpetrator of the Tiona Ave. burglary.

Sept. 9

Officers patrolling Honiss St. arrested Rolando Simmins, 28, of Newark. for $500 in outstanding Newark warrants at 7:26 p.m. He was held on those warrants.

Sept. 8

At 6:13 p.m., officers stopped a vehicle on Washington Ave. after noticing that the driver “appeared intoxicated.” After failing a breathalyzer test, Brian Zillian, 23, of Belleville, was arrested on a DWI charge. He was later released.

Officers responded to the Pathmark store at 10:40 p.m. on a shoplifting call. Sheila Collins, 49, of Newark, was arrested on charges of pilfering $23.51 worth of “soap and hair relaxers,” according to police. She was later released.

–Jeff Bahr