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Archive for September 5, 2017

Sept. 5, 2017 — An enormous cannonball over the bow of NJSIAA Group II

This afternoon saw the start of scholastic field hockey in the always-competitive state of New Jersey. And this includes what has historically been the most competitive of the state tournaments, Group II, which takes in schools from about 500 to 800 students. Indeed, when you think about it, the current NJSIAA Tournament of Champions holder is a Group II school, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.).

There was a golden age for the group about a decade and a half ago, but after the hurting that one extremely large schools (Voorhees Eastern) and one extremely small ones (Summit Oak Knoll) put on everyone else the last decade or so, I think Group II is undergoing a renaissance.

Need proof? Today, Madison (N.J.) Borough, a Group II school, beat Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) 3-0. Bridgewater-Raritan is the same school which, only three months ago, took home the Tournament of Champions trophy in a girls’ field-invasion sport.

But that sport was lacrosse. This could be a major statement by Ann Marie Davies’ Dodgers. The next chance for Madison to make another statement: Saturday, when the team travels to McAleer Stadium to take on Eastern.

And thanks to today’s result, Saturday has suddenly has become a huge contest.