Nutley commissioners honor softball champions

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The Nutley Board of Commissioners welcomed the Nutley High School varsity and seventh- and eighth-grade softball teams July 5 at Town Hall for a gathering to honor both teams’ outstanding achievements during their 2022 seasons.

The NJSIAA North 2 Group 3 State Sectional Champions NHS team enjoyed a successful season, finishing with a 21-6 record. The team finished as second-ranked in Essex County, fourth in Group 3 and 17th in the state.

The seventh- and eighth-grade team, meanwhile, concluded its season with a similar record, with a 10-1-1 record, en route to a Suburban League championship.

“This is a very auspicious evening,” Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci said. “Not only are we honoring one Nutley team, which is more than anyone ever expected, but we are honoring two teams. First is the Nutley High School varsity softball team. This is a team that believed in themselves as individuals, believed in the concept of team, believed in their managers and coaches. They probably worked harder than any other team in the history of Nutley girls softball. And they excelled at it. I am very proud to introduce this resolution …  What you have accomplished is nothing short of phenomenal. I am so proud of each and every one of you.”

Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli agreed.

“You made Nutley proud,” Scarpelli said to the teams. “When you go through a season like this, I always say, ‘you win together, you lose together. You laugh together, cry together. The girl next to you, 20 years from now is still going to be your best friend.’ Congratulations to you and the coaches. Great job!”

Other commissioners chimed in, too, to praise the girls.

“Congratulations to those who are seniors,” Commissioner John V. Kelly III said. “Use this success as a launching point to the next phase of your life.”

“To achieve the excellence you have achieved, there are values that go with that,” Commissioner Thomas J. Evans said. “One is integrity: recognizing what you need to do to be successful. Respect: respecting one another whether it’s a good day or a bad day, being there for one another. And accountability: Showing up every day. Doing what it takes. I encourage you to take all of this into your future, wherever that may be.”

Following the initial resolution, the commissioners recognized younger team.

“I believe the last time a seventh- and eighth-grade girls’ softball team won a Suburban League championship, many of the seniors from our varsity championship team were also on that championship team,” Tucci said. “So seventh- and eighth-graders, this is what you have to look forward to. Do your best and you’ll be right back here in a few years.”

The Nutley High School varsity softball team includes the following members: Luca Blancato, Nikki Chiccheti, Lia DeMaio, Syndey Hess, Fallyn Stoeckel, Mia DiPiano, Giulianna Fazio, Gianna Lembo, Robin Niland, Sasha Wanko, Sianna Kantor, Gabriella Mariano, Skye Stoeckel, Meghan Spina, and Lola Thompson.

They are led by Head Coach Luann Zullo and Assistant Coaches Mike DiPiano, Brielle Riccardi, Michele Puzio, Stefanie Ruffo and Breanna DeMaio.

The seventh- and eighth-grade team is comprised of Makenna DeJianne, Natalia Kit,Riley Clinton, Sofia Rocha, Zoey Vonroth, Thea Deffabio, Kaitlyn Nellegar, Olivia Miller, Julianna Delorenzo, Caitlyn Moccio, Isabella Baez and Samantha Grella.

They are led by Head Coach Kim DeJianne and Assistant Coaches Juan Ecchavaria and Tim Nellegar.

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