Post 618 – Bull Session: Year-End

I nearly threw up when I saw the All-County teams in The Record, as in Bergen County. For starters, the first-team offense has 25 players and the defense has 22 – that’s a total of 47 players on the first-team. Second team has 23 on offense and 22 on defense for 45, making it a total of 92 players on the first and second-teams. What they have done is cut out the third and fourth teams and put them all into first and second teams. In addition, there are some head scratchers on the first team. I used to look forward to seeing All-County come out after the season and see who was on the first-team. It meant more and there used to be only eleven on each side of the ball. Now, in the “everybody gets a trophy” era, we have a watered-down version. Coaches push for “their guy” and it becomes small schools vs. large schools, publics vs. catholics and I guess the solution is to represent all the “cliques” in the county instead of finding the best. I am in favor of having more than eleven if some more are truly deserving, but I am thinking of 13-14 players – not 25. If that is the case, remove a player or two from the second team. I also think the Record having an All-North Jersey team takes the glow away from All-County and that saddens me – but that’s not my main point, which is how far All-County has fallen…… Rutgers was competitive in many of their games, showing improvement. But if they are going to take another step or two, they need to add more quality big men on the lines and top-quality quarterbacks …..One positive from this season of COVID was the statewide games scheduled in place of canceled games. There was cooperation between teams throughout the state and the cooperation is to be commended. That said, with teams scheduling out-of-state games, I would rather see more north vs. south, south vs. central and north vs. central games …..With Lovie Smith being fired at Illinois, it shows there are successful pro coaches who don’t find success on the collegiate level, just like successful college coaches who don’t find success at the pro level. Others, such as Kliff Kingsbury and Dave Wannstedt have experienced the same fate as Smith…..With all the talk about the Jets ruining things by winning their last two games and probably losing out on a chance to draft Trevor Lawrence, remember this: these guys are pros, they’re competitive, and they want to win…..Somerville’s Cookie Desiderio seems to be taking a shot at writers on one of his recent tweets, probably about not being chosen as Player of the Year. I saw him play and he is one of the state’s best, but Audric Estime of St. Joe’s (Montvale), Patrick Smith of Holy Spirit, Bhayshul Tuten of Paulsboro, and Nasir Robinson of Penns Grove are also outstanding backs. I may be missing a couple, but you know what I mean. I enjoyed watching him play, but there are other players who deserve respect.….. Speaking of the last two backs I mentioned, they are from Group 1 schools, but don’t let that fool you: they’re outstanding. I would have been laughed at if I told some of my North Jersey friends that the best back in the state is Jonathan Taylor from Group 1 Salem…..South Jersey has its fair share of great athletes and one of them is Cedar Creek’s Jojo Bermudez and he’s still a junior. Watch him next year…..If I had to pick a team’s best quartet of wide receivers, I would go with Camden. Alijah Clark is headed to Rutgers, Darian “Duce” Chestnut is headed to Syracuse, and Corey Palmer is crossing the Delaware to play for Temple…..A very good coach on the collegiate level is Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald…..With the college football playoffs coming this weekend, I would like to see and eight-team field over the current four. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State will probably be one or both of the finalists, but there would be some good first round games…..I spoke of Audric Estime earlier and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some early playing time at Notre Dame…..Pat Lanni of mentioned the four schools who have won NJIC championship games are within a few miles of one another and would make one heck of a big school if they combined: Hasbrouck Heights, Rutherford, Becton, and Lyndhurst. Heights is the furthest north, while Lyndhurst is the furthest south, a distance of 6.5 miles per The four schools combine for 1,890 students per the NJSIAA web site. Add Wood-Ridge, Wallington, and North Arlington to the equation and there would be 2,866 students. That whole area could be divided into two large schools and would probably field teams that could compete with larger schools in the northern part of Bergen County and beyond…..That’s it for now. I will be back some time with some more bull! Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021! 

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