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Archive for October 22, 2018

Oct. 22, 2018 — County tournaments gone mild

The ten county tournaments held in New Jersey this time of year serve a number of purposes.

For some teams, it’s preparation for the state tournament. For others, it’s regional and sometimes city bragging rights.

Now, the last few years, you could send your predictions to the printer for the winners of some of these championships because teams like Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.), Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), and The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School have dominated in the Shore Conference, Union, and Mercer County Tournaments, respectively.

This makes what happened this year in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament all the more special.

Hackettstown (N.J.) is a program which, when this site started, didn’t exist because the team was folded in the late 1980s. It took all of the guile and wisdom of Gina DiMaio to bring the side from a JV existence in 2001 to a sectional final and a county tournament winner in 2005. DiMaio, however, was not renewed after the 2009 season, opening the way for Stephen Spiers to become head coach.

It’s taken nearly a decade after the Spiers hiring, but the Tigers are back as county champions after a 1-0 win over Washington Warren Hills (N.J.). The game-winner came in the second minute of extra time off the stick of Ashley Zellars.

A hearty “Well played!” from this corner of the Internet.