Aquino gets award, but other locals worthy

Photo by Jim Hague Harrison’s Nicole Cerqueira was one of the contenders for the Observer Female Athlete of the Year honors, as a standout soccer goalkeeper and the Blue Tide’s leading scorer in basketball.

By Jim Hague

Janitza Aquino of Kearny High School earned The Observer Female Athlete of the Year award for 2010-11 and deservedly so.
However, Aquino was not alone when it comes to achieving excellence on the athletic fields of play in the area.
There were other worthy contenders for the year-end honor who just came up a little short.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the other top female athletes who have recently graduated from area high schools and will now look to take their talents to the next level.
Harrison had two excellent candidates in seniors Thainara Ramos and Nicole Cerqueira.
Ramos, a three-sport standout (soccer, basketball and softball), overcame serious illness earlier in her career to set an example for all Blue Tide athletes. Cerqueira was a fine soccer goalkeeper, but her best attributes were shown on the basketball floor, where she was the leading scorer for the Blue Tide in a breakthrough season for the program.
Lyndhurst had its share of potential candidates, like Brittany Stajek, who was a fine basketball and soccer player at the school.
But how can anyone compare to what Nikki Villani did for the Golden Bears?

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.


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