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PRESS RELEASE

December 20, 2012

ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
HONOR THE MONTCLAIR H. S. FOOTBALL TEAM
2012 NORTH JERSEY SECTION 1, GROUP 5 STATE CHAMPIONS

Team Won Championship in Thrilling 2OT Game at MetLife Stadium

Freeholder Brendan Gill (far left) presented the Board’s commendation to members of the State Champion Montclair High School Football Team and staff.  Pictured above are: (front row, from left) John Porcelli, Vice Principal for Athletics & Student Activities, Head Coach John Fiore and Captains Nate Crutchfield, Brandon Taylor and Scott Walker; (back row, from left) Assistant Coach Doug Moore, Captain Sam Zeff and Assistant Coach Dan Roberts.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

(Newark, NJ) – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the undefeated Montclair High School Football Team on Wednesday, December 19th, at the Hall of Records for winning the 2012 North Jersey Section 1, Group 5, State Championship.  The Board’s commendation was sponsored and presented to the team by District 5 Freeholder Brendan Gill, a Montclair resident.

The team won its state championship on Saturday, December 8th, when it defeated longtime arch-rival Bloomfield High School, 16-13, in a thrilling double overtime marathon at MetLifeStadium thanks to a dramatic 66-yard, 8-play drive in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter that tied the game, 13-13, at the end of regulation time; the team then went on to win the game on a field goal in the second overtime period.   In state tournament play in the run-up to the championship game, the Mounties also defeated Paterson Kennedy High School (35-0) and Ridgewood High School (24-0).

The team reached the state championship game for the third consecutive year and won the school’s fifth state title, its first since 2002.  Posting a perfect record of 12-0, the team also won the Super Essex Conference – American Division Championship and finished its dream season ranked by The Star-Ledger as the #6 team in the State of New Jersey, the #2 Group 5 team, and the #1 team in Essex County.

Attending the presentation in the Freeholder Board’s chambers on behalf of the team were: Head Coach John Fiore, Assistant Coaches Doug Moore and Dan Roberts, John Porcelli, Assistant Principal for Athletics and Student Activities, and four senior captains, Sam Zeff, Brandon Taylor, Scott Walker and Nate Crutchfield.

Freeholder Gill opened the program by telling the players what a pleasure and honor it was for him, someone who takes great pride in Montclair as a resident and a Montclair High School graduate, to congratulate the team for all its accomplishments.  “I am an avid fan”, said Gill.  “I’ve been to all five state championship victories over the years, have probably been attending games at Woodman Field since the early 1980’s with my father, and now that I have a 4-year old son of my own, I’ve been attending the games with him.”  He went on to say how proud he was of each of them, and especially for how they performed under intense pressure at the end of the final game.  “You will always be remembered for your accomplishments, for how you handled the pressure of representing the entire community, and for the way you conducted yourselves.  That’s what is most important”, said Gill, “and that is the Montclair tradition.”

Head Coach John Fiore thanked Freeholder Gill and the Board for honoring the team and said how extremely proud he was of what the team accomplished.  “We only had 6 or 8 returning starters this year, we weren’t ranked at the beginning of the season, and no one outside of the team thought we had a chance to win the state championship”, said Fiore.  “So what these young men accomplished is amazing.”

Speaking on behalf of his teammates, senior quarterback Nate Crutchfield said, “I want to thank everyone for inviting us here tonight, everyone in the community for standing behind us through our ups and downs, and the coaches for guiding us to that 12-0 season and eventual state championship.”

John Porcelli thanked the Board for recognizing the team and spoke of how proud he was of what Coach Fiore and his staff have accomplished over the last three years. He also added, “As Brendan said, the tradition at Montclair in athletics, and in football specifically, is something I’m in awe of.”  “Tonight’s presentation is a real honor for our kids”, he continued, “and I thank you on behalf of our principal, Mr. Earl, and the Board of Education.”

The Montclair High School Football Team was coached by Head Coach John Fiore and Assistant Coaches Jamie Bittner, Kevin Batty, Pete Ramiccio, Daniel Roberts, George Sanguiliano, Eugene Kline, Doug Moore and Patrick Krenn, and is comprised of the following members: Seniors Nate Crutchfield, Russell Walton, Scott Walker, Clarence Sears, Kamani Odrick, Noah Douglas, Ryan Bollinger, Lou-Royce Christophe, Terrence Acevedo, Devin Wilson, Isaiah Jennings, Talajawon Golden, Keiran Miller, Michael Million, Ed Atkinson, Mikey Aquilino, David Chappel, Rayne Stokes, Taylor Ullrich, Sam Zeff, Brandon Taylor, Darnell Powell, Amos Campbell, Jason Wright and Joseph Breland; Juniors Gerard Brown, Ibn Wallace, Kenny Rosario, Will Kline, Will Greer, Alan Nelson, Rae Oliver, Wyatt Bigley, Jahmile Campbell, Tauqeer Boyd, Stefan Henry, Austin Stevens, Zach Jones, DeAndre Smith, Andre Staton, Shawn Moses, Shaq Jones, Mauricio Roman, Greg DeFranco, James Geathers, Michael Giles, DaQuan Adams, Kenneth Davis, Jean-Pierre Ullrich, Jonah Oliver, Sterling McAndrew, Jacob Vogel and Maurise Griffith; and Sophomores Elijah Robinson, Benjamin Schreiber, Chanse Riley, Jamil Best, Kevin Robinson, Amir Karim, Kahron Smothers, Ian Leong, Chris Adajar, Jason Simon, Chris Sauchelli, Chris Mangrum, Krys Diaz, Ben Crawley, Mario Sokolic, Maliik Hall, Jack Giordano, Marcell Brown, Moises Rodriguez, Oji Balija, Taymar Walters, Anthony Cody, Jabril Bowen, Gabe Harris and Alfred Lumpkin.

 

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4452
Gkroessig@freeholders.essexcountynj.org

 

 

 

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695