Pascack Hills’s Sports Year in Review

Evan Lazarus

The sports year for Pascack Hills was again, without a doubt, very successful. All sports teams competed and succeeded in this very competitive North Jersey area. Perhaps the most surprising and well-accomplished team was our varsity wrestling team. The wrestling team won a county and league championship and we were voted the Small School Team of the Year.  Mike Worthington and Shaun Stanley each accumulated 100 career wins, and Ben Brisman and Shaun Stanley advanced to the state tournament in Atlantic City. Coach Bucco constantly told his team, “Dedication produces champions.” That sure worked out for the Cowboys!

In the fall season, Hills saw dedicated and hardworking teams all across the board; our football team, boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, and the volleyball team were teams to keep an eye on! The boys’ soccer team had four consecutive big wins against Mahwah, Westwood, River Dell, and Dumont, while competing with the third seed (Dover) in the state tournament.

However, the volleyball team stole the show for the fall season. They were league champions! Coach McDonald reflected on her season as a success, saying that this was “an exciting season with a team that promises to be a contender in the future.”

The football team was above average this year. The Pascack Hills Cowboys football team surprised many by winning the Big North Conference. The Cowboys received six First Team All-League players as recognition for their achievement. Coach Alexander said, “The season was highlighted by a thrilling 29-28 overtime victory over the heavily favored Ridgefield Park Scarlet’s by converting a 2-point conversion on the final play of the game.”

The winter season was just as enjoyable as the fall. Teams such as bowling and basketball had great results from their seasons. The girls’ four-person bowling team averaged 448 and finished the season in third place, ahead of rivals River Dell and Ramsey. The boys’ four-person team averaged 608 and finished the season in third place ahead of contenders Mahwah and Ramsey. Tommy Patire, Eric Skoog, and Daniella Roitman were selected 2nd Team All-League, and Ben Smith and Molly Villafranco were selected Honorable Mention All-League. Coach Priddy recapped his season by saying, “We practiced, we improved, and we had a lot of fun!” Unfortunately, our boys’ basketball team did not have success it has had in the past; they lost in the sectional final game against a tough Manchester team, by one, in overtime. They finished with a positive record (15-13) while facing the toughest schedule they’ve ever had.”

As the spring season comes to a close, the baseball, softball, and lacrosse teams all found success while playing their respective sport. The baseball team played a tough schedule and finished 9-15 but gained valuable leaderships skills from three-year starters Tyler Messinger and Jake Chiavelli. The softball team, led by four-year starter, senior Robyn Abaunza, finished by winning four out of the five last regular season games, outscoring opponents 32-14. Abaunza recorded 120 strikeouts and finished her career with over 500 Ks! The boys’ lacrosse team finished second in the league. Derek Sammartino accumulated 100 career points scored, and Matthew Evans accumulated 574 career saves.  Jack Benedict, Adam Lefkowitz and Noah Shields all scored more than 35 points this season. Last but not least, the golf team captured a state sectional title!

Overall, as usual, Pascack Hills had a fantastic sports season! I would like to thank all of the coaches on behalf of all of the athletes for their time and dedication to their sport. This 2015-2016 sports year was one for the books!