Last weekend featured numerous games between teams from different parts of the state, due to the COVID. These games included Woodbridge beating Parsippany Hills, Wayne Hills over Kingsway, Somerville topping Old Tappan, Clearview defeating Roxbury, and Glen Rock upending New Providence…..Seeing Somerville-Old Tappan last weekend, I was able to see
Cookie Desiderio, one of the state’s best running backs. He also has one of the best names for a running backs since Coot Manisera, who played for Lyndhurst in the late 1940’s and went on to play at Georgia. A teammate of Coot’s was one Nick Nazare, the former assistant of Mike Campanile at Paramus Catholic and Greg Toal at Don Bosco. Manisera and Nazare played on the Lyndhurst team that scored 100 points against Hawthorne and when I asked Nazare about it, he said it was something he wasn’t proud of…..One game that must have been exciting was North Arlington beating Fort Lee, 28-26, in a battle of also-rans…..I don’t know what’s worse: if I am being punished in solitary confinement for 90 days and listening to a continuous, 14/7 loop of either everything Yoko Ono ever recorded or a loop of Tony Romo rambling away, non-stop…..The top matchup of the weekend is probably St. Peter’s Prep meeting Bergen Catholic. Prep is the defending #1 team and if Bergen wants that honor, they have to come to the mountain and that mountain is St. Peter’s Prep…..Other top matchups this weekend are #5 St. Joe’s (Montvale) at #4 Don Bosco, #10 Holy Spirit visits #9 St. Augustine, and in the public Groups 3-4-5 #14 West Morris at #24 Randolph. The Corona Virus cancelled #4 Cherokee going to #2 Lenape and #18 Ramapo at #9 Wayne Hills…..Next week’s games have what are called pods. My question is this: what exactly is a pod? I think of pods that are used for washing clothes or dishes…..I like Mater Dei using the hook-and-ladder pass last week to score a late, winning touchdown against Rumson-Fair Haven. They did the same thing against Holy Cross in the state final…..Nothing against Rumson-Fair Haven, who has one of the state’s best public school programs…..I love those all-white Giant uniforms of yesteryear that were worn this past Monday night…..Speaking of Ramapo-Wayne Hills, the game that made that rivalry was the 1996 encounter. Both were undefeated and Chris Simms was a sophomore. Ramapo won in controversial fashion and the place was beyond packed. And it was cold, real cold; one of the coldest games I have been to…..How could I forget? When I was talking about big games, I neglected to mention the marquee small-school matchup with #2 Willingboro visiting #1 Camden. Willingboro has not played a game since week two and it will be interesting to see how they play…..#5 Haddonfield hosts undefeated Cherry Hill West, an honorable mention in Groups 3-4-5…..Speaking of Camden, they had a team in the early 1970’s that featured Art Still and Derrick Ramsey, who both played in the NFL. Still, in fact, was the second pick of the draft in 1978, chosen by Kansas City, played for twelve years, and was named to the Pro Bowl four times…..Another duo was Melvin Jenkins and Kyle Wilson staring at cornerback for Piscataway for the undefeated 2004 team. Both were #1 picks in the NFL, with Jenkins still playing today for the Saints…..As cynical as many are towards Rutgers, they do have 14 players in the NFL…. That’s it for this week, I will be back with more bull next week!