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Latest News in Hanover, NJ

LETTER: Vote Markensohn, Mattia, McSorley in Hanover

EDITOR: Hanover Township schools have an excellent reputation with test scores consistently above state and national averages driven by top-notch teachers.It’s one of the things that makes Hanover a great place to raise children and attracts home buyers. Anyone whose children have gone through our schools knows how dedicated, talented and professional our teachers, administrators and staff are.The Board of Education (BOE) plays a role in this by ensuring things run smoothly and that we get the best quality education in th...

EDITOR: Hanover Township schools have an excellent reputation with test scores consistently above state and national averages driven by top-notch teachers.

It’s one of the things that makes Hanover a great place to raise children and attracts home buyers. Anyone whose children have gone through our schools knows how dedicated, talented and professional our teachers, administrators and staff are.

The Board of Education (BOE) plays a role in this by ensuring things run smoothly and that we get the best quality education in the best environment that our tax dollars can afford.

With that in mind, we are supporting these three candidates for the three open BOE positions:

• Evan Markensohn, Parent Teacher Association president for Bee Meadow School. Instituted the High 5 program which recognizes teachers and staff each month who have made a difference to students. He will be a great addition to the board. You can find his answers to the Hanover Township Education Association (HTEA) questionnaire, designed to help the community better understand candidates’ positions, here: https://hteaonline.org/board-of-education-candidates-guide/. More information on Evan and his background and accomplishments are available here: www.evanforboe.com. Evan is No. 4 on the ballot.

• Patricia Mattia, current board president and has served on the board for 16 years. Her tenure and the quality of our schools in that time speak to her qualifications! You can find her answers to the HTEA questionnaire here: https://hteaonline.org/board-of-education-candidates-guide/. More information on Patricia and her background and accomplishments available here: www.mattiaandmcsorleyforboe.com. Patricia is No. 5 on the ballot.

• Kathryn McSorley has served on the board for one year. She was instrumental in negotiating an early memorandum of agreement with the Hanover Township Administrators Association (HTAA). You can find her answers to the HTEA questionnaire here: https://hteaonline.org/board-of-education-candidates-guide/. More information on Kathryn and her background and accomplishments available here: www.mattiaandmcsorleyforboe.com. Kathryn is No. 6 on the ballot.

All three of these candidates believe that respect for and trust in our teachers and administration is paramount to success in our schools. They support the recommendations of (Aaron) Wasserman, head of curriculum and (Michael) Wasko, superintendent of schools. This makes for good working relationships, mutual respect and facilitates top education standards and retention of the best teachers.

In contrast, the three candidates running on the Hanover Education First (HEF) platform have made disturbing comments about the need to “police the teachers” to make sure they don’t “teach something not approved.” At a recent BOE meeting, Christine Egbert said that she wanted the Board to put “guardrails” in place for teachers and asked what would happen to a teacher that taught something they were “not supposed to.” Geoffrey Skiff commented that being able to opt out of the health education curriculum is not enough: he wanted the board to outright reject it, which could lead to the loss of state funding. Gina Johnston has reportedly suggested that teachers should be required to summarize lesson plans and send them to parents before they teach the lesson. And then what? The teacher gets 20 different opinions and requests back, and educational time is lost to squabbling by people who aren’t trained educators.

Our teachers do not need more work on their plates. Our teachers need the cooperation of families and the community to deliver an effective and inclusive education. If the HEF candidates win, we will lose many of our amazing teachers. Teachers whose hands will be tied and who will not be treated as the qualified professionals that they are – and are subject to constant oversight and criticism – will leave the district or retire.

Vote Tuesday, Nov. 8 to retain our teachers and maintain the integrity of our schools: Markensohn, Mattia, McSorely: Numbers 4, 5 and 6 on the ballot.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER

Football: Hanover Park moves past Verona, readies for another playoff run

After a run to the sectional championship game last season as an eight-seed, Hanover Park knows as well as any team that anything goes in the postseason.If it is to make another deep run in the playoffs, Hanover Park once again will likely face the prospect of having to do it all on the road as a lower seed, as it went into Friday’s matchup with Verona sitting in 14th in the North, Group 2 United Power Rankings.It will deal with the seedings when they are finalized, but Hanover Park knows this much- it is almost certainly...

After a run to the sectional championship game last season as an eight-seed, Hanover Park knows as well as any team that anything goes in the postseason.

If it is to make another deep run in the playoffs, Hanover Park once again will likely face the prospect of having to do it all on the road as a lower seed, as it went into Friday’s matchup with Verona sitting in 14th in the North, Group 2 United Power Rankings.

It will deal with the seedings when they are finalized, but Hanover Park knows this much- it is almost certainly in the state tournament- as it secured its spot with a 21-7 win over Verona in East Hanover.

“It meant everything for us,” senior wide receiver/defensive back Dom Madera said. “We came in in June, and we just lost in the state championship and we wanted to go back. The guys knew that if we win this game we’ll have a better seed in the playoffs, and if we keep going higher and higher we know we’re going to get a better matchup in the playoffs. We’re going to come out and prepare very hard to try and get that win and get back to the state sectionals.”

Hanover Park (5-3) admittedly did not put together a perfect performance on Friday night, but was able to get past a Verona squad which was also fighting for its playoff life, as it sat in 16th place in North, Group 1.

But the Hornets came out strong in the first half, with Matt Melia scoring on a 7-yard run and making a 4-yard TD catch from Mike Borrello, giving his team a 14-0 lead going into halftime.

Its defense, which was strong all night, held Verona to just one score, which was a 1-yard plunge by Alex Rodriguez out of the wildcat formation in the third quarter to cut the deficit to seven.

Closing out games had been a struggle all season for Hanover Park, as it suffered losses to Madison and Mountain Lakes earlier this season by two and seven points, respectively. But the defense bounced back from the touchdown drive, and the Hornets were able to seal the win on Madera’s 3-yard score with 1:34 to go.

“We’ve been in this situation a couple of times, especially at home, and we just fumble the ball, somebody falls down, we muff a snap…just sophomoric mistakes by young kids, so it was nice to finish strong,” Hanover Park coach Dan Fulton said. “It was nice to finish in the end zone, and get Dom a score. We just have to keep getting better. I think our practice (stunk) this week. I wasn’t happy, but the kids are giving me their best effort, and now we’ve got to learn from our mistakes if we’re going to beat a good football team.”

Hanover Park’s defense was the story of the game, as it held its opponent to one touchdown for the third consecutive game, which coincides with a regular season-ending three-game winning streak.

Verona (2-7) was held to just 130 total yards of offense, as Madera came up with two interceptions to lead the way for the defensive backs. The defensive line, led by Jack Massarano and Nick Davino, got enough penetration to hold Verona’s running game to less than 30 yards.

“We were working in harmony tonight,” Massarano said of the defense’s performance. “We had a really good week of practice. I think it paid off, we worked hard and we reaped the benefits.”

Madera added, “Our coach’s game plan was great. This week we prepared and watched a lot of film. We knew most of the routes, we even knew some of their calls that the offensive coordinator was putting out. It was just a great job of mixing up calls and not giving them what they want offensively. Our defensive line did a great job getting pass rush and their quarterback really had no chance of putting off a good pass.”

It will have much to work on as it gets ready for next week’s playoff game, whoever it is against. But the playoffs mean a clean slate for everyone, and Hanover Park will look to be at its best in the postseason once again.

“Getting in is everything,” Madera said. “When you get in the postseason, everyone’s record is 0-0. Whoever wins moves on, whoever doesn’t goes home. We’ve done a pretty good job of staying in there.”

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West Morris girls soccer captures N2G2 sectional title with win over Hanover Park

A pair of second-half goals by Alexa Murawski and Sofia Chan about two minutes apart lifted top-seeded West Morris to an NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 championship with a 3-1 win over third-seeded Hanover Park on Saturday in Chester.Murawski headed in a cross pass from Sofia Sardeira to break a 1-1 tie with 31:55 on the clock in the second half. Two minutes later, Chan’s corner kick sailed over the mass of bodies fighting to make a play on the ball untouched and found the side netting on the far side of the goal....

A pair of second-half goals by Alexa Murawski and Sofia Chan about two minutes apart lifted top-seeded West Morris to an NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 championship with a 3-1 win over third-seeded Hanover Park on Saturday in Chester.

Murawski headed in a cross pass from Sofia Sardeira to break a 1-1 tie with 31:55 on the clock in the second half. Two minutes later, Chan’s corner kick sailed over the mass of bodies fighting to make a play on the ball untouched and found the side netting on the far side of the goal.

“It was (meant to be) a header to the back post,” Chan said. “But you know what, it just completely curled in, and I’m happy with that.”

Saturday’s matchup pitted two reigning sectional champs against one another. Hanover Park grabbed the Section 2, Group 2 title last season; West Morris earned the Section 2, Group 3 championship before being reclassified this season.

The winning pedigree of both sides was apparent, as the teams took turns applying prolonged stretches of pressure on their opponent. West Morris (12-6-1) spent most of the first half on offense and scored the opening goal with 20:04 on the clock. Madison Lamb buried a header off Lily Gjelsvik’s free kick.

But Hanover Park (15-6-2) adjusted its structure to a 3-5-2 setup and knotted the game just before the intermission. TCNJ commit Alyssa Alfano converted on a penalty kick.

That jolt carried over into the second half, as the Hornets earned a pair of corner kick chances in the first 10 minutes while keeping the Wolfpack stuck in their defensive end.

“100 percent. That definitely helped,” coach Erin Shane said of Alfano’s equalizer. “And I think in the last 10 minutes, we changed up our formation a little bit, we changed up our game plan, and we saw that they were stuck with it a little bit. We were in their defensive zone for the last 10 of the first half, and I think the girls saw it like, ‘All right, yeah, we actually can do this.’”

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A well-executed feed by Nadia Castaneda on her corner kick to her teammates over the middle had to be saved by goalie Hayden Scotti. The netminder then scooped up the loose rebound to extinguish the threat.

About two minutes later, Sardeira found Murawski to put West Morris ahead for good.

“We didn’t capitalize when we needed to,” Shane said. “I think if we had been able to convert on the first corner kick in the second half, it would have changed the game completely.”

In the moments leading up to Murawski’s go-ahead goal, Chan denied a pair of Hanover Park attempts to move the ball out of its defensive zone, keeping the Wolfpack moving upfield. The midfielder said she takes pride in the defensive element of her game.

“Everyone on my team always sees me bodying people,” Chan said. “I just think everybody has a part to play, and if I can bring the defensive part over the middle and hold it down, then I think everything else just kind of fits (into place).”

Chan’s defensive effort, along with the work of defenders Kelsey Commerford, Jillian Nestor, Lily DiPietro and Ellie Mauldin plus the goalkeeping of Scotti, helped the Wolfpack weather Hanover Park’s surge. When West Morris eventually counter-punched and pulled ahead, it brought momentum back to the Wolfpack sideline.

“I think any time you put one in the net swings the momentum. The other team gets put on their heels a little bit,” coach Ken Rossi said. “When Sardeira served it to Alexa and we scored -- that was a pretty goal, too…that gives your team confidence.

“We just figured, hey, it’s a wide-open game, let’s keep going after it, why shut down?”

West Morris kept pushing offensively, leading a brief moment later to Chan’s corner-kick tally through a strong breeze.

“You know, the wind blowing helping on the third goal, the corner, I think that took the wind out of our sails a little bit,” Shane said. “We started the second half and I was like, ‘We’re going to win.’ The girls came out really hard, we were ready to go. When you have the largest Group 2 playing the smallest Group 2, I’m really proud of what they put out on the table. They’ve got a sizable program, and our tiny school can still put together a really nice team.

“But you know, it’s an unfortunate outcome, not the outcome that we wanted. But we’ll learn our lessons, love up on our seniors and be proud of them and move on and get ready for next year.”

West Morris advances to the Group 2 semifinals on Tuesday to play at North Jersey, Section 1 champion Old Tappan, which defeated River Dell on penalty kicks (3-2) after playing to a scoreless tie. The state final is next Saturday at Kean University in Union.

West Morris fell in the Group 3 semifinals last year to Wayne Valley.

“I think we’re all feeling really confident,” Chan said. “We’ve never played Old Tappan. I know it’s an away game, so that’s going to be definitely a change after playing so many home games. But I think we’re all ready to take a step up, especially after last year after our sectional title, and just bring home the whole thing.”

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Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.

North 1, Group 2 final preview: Westwood plays Rutherford in battle of unbeatens

At one point in time not too long ago, sectional public school championships were the culmination of a long season of New Jersey high school football.But now there will be two more games – state semifinals and finals in all five groups after this weekend. So this week’s sectional championships are a step along the way – but a very important step.Twenty sectional championship trophies will be handed out this weekend and regardless of what happens in the weeks to come, the players and coaches on those teams will...

At one point in time not too long ago, sectional public school championships were the culmination of a long season of New Jersey high school football.

But now there will be two more games – state semifinals and finals in all five groups after this weekend. So this week’s sectional championships are a step along the way – but a very important step.

Twenty sectional championship trophies will be handed out this weekend and regardless of what happens in the weeks to come, the players and coaches on those teams will be champions forever.

This week, we take an in-depth look at every NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics sectional championship game. We pick the offensive game-breakers and defensive heart-breakers and give you the scouting report on every finalist as teams battle for titles.

Here is a breakdown of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 sectional final.

When: 12 p.m. Saturday

Rutherford

Westwood

The N.J. High School Sports newsletter now appearing in mailboxes 5 days a week. Sign up now and be among the first to get all the boys and girls sports you care about, straight to your inbox each weekday. To add your name, click here.

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Luis Torres and Ryan Patti cover the Super Football Conference and NJIC. Mike Kinney covers the Super Football Conference and Big Central. You can reach them on Twitter @ByLuisTorres, @ryanwpatti and @MikeKinneyHS or at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

Boys Soccer: North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 quarterfinals recaps for Oct. 31

After trailing early, top-seeded Harrison defeated ninth-seeded Hackettstown 2-1 behind two second half goals in the quarterfinals of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 tournament, in HarrisonDiego Gonzalez and Brandon Moreno scored for Harrison (15-2-1) in the second half. Hackettstown (11-6) led 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Ryan Luke but couldn’t capitalize on it and widen its lead.For Hackettstown, Joe Crowder made eight saves while Ismael Kone had five saves for Harrison.Harrison will play fifth-seeded Hanove...

After trailing early, top-seeded Harrison defeated ninth-seeded Hackettstown 2-1 behind two second half goals in the quarterfinals of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 tournament, in Harrison

Diego Gonzalez and Brandon Moreno scored for Harrison (15-2-1) in the second half. Hackettstown (11-6) led 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Ryan Luke but couldn’t capitalize on it and widen its lead.

For Hackettstown, Joe Crowder made eight saves while Ismael Kone had five saves for Harrison.

Harrison will play fifth-seeded Hanover Park in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Voorhees 3, Bernards 2

Keegan Mulroney scored two goals as sixth-seeded Voorhees defeated third-seeded Bernards 3-2, in Bernardsville.

Voorhees (14-6-1) took an early 1-0 lead before Fin Spitaleri scored off of a free kick to tie the game with eight minutes to go until halftime.

Voorhees responded with a goal right before the halftime horn to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

Spitaleri would strike for a second goal in the second half for Bernards (13-3-1), but German Burset Romero would score the third Voorhees goal as the Vikings walked away with the win.

Voorhees will play second-seeded Rutherford on Wednesday in the semifinals.

Rutherford 5, Technology 0

Four different players scored for Rutherford as it defeated Technology 5-0, in Rutherford.

Rutherford (15-2-3) led 2-0 at halftime before putting up three more goals in the second half. Daniel Geltrude led with two goals, and Joaquin Narucki, Alejandro Mirana, and Alex Jimenez each registered one goal each.

Sean Doyle, Dylan Tenn, and Geltrude all picked up assists on the day as well.

Rutherford will play sixth-seeded Voorhees in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Technology dropped to 9-7-1 on the season.

Hanover Park 2, Lyndhurt 1 (OT)

Kyle Hahn scored the game winning goal in overtime as fifth-seeded Hanover Park defeated fourth-seeded Lyndhurt 2-1, in Lyndhurst.

Lyndhurst (10-5-2) held a slim 1-0 lead at halftime before Jonathan Karpinski scored to tie the game in the second half for Hanover Park (16-2).

Hahn’s overtime winner was assisted by Valentino Della Grazia.

Lucas Baroni made seven saves for Lyndhurst.

Hanover Park will play top-seeded Harrison on Wednesday in the semifinals.

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