WEST ORANGE, NJ – Past and present connected on the baseball field at West Orange High School May 21 and 22 as the Mountaineers recognized alumni from the Mountain High School Rams and West Orange High School Cowboys.
“Throwback Weekend” featured two evenings of Mountaineer baseball, with players wearing the jerseys of the Mountain High School Rams on May 21 and the West Orange High School Cowboys on May 22.
Township historian Joe Fagan welcomed alumni, family and community members to the field. He pointed to the Mountain Rams banner hanging among photos of outstanding players and noted that it was the first time the banner had been flown in 40 years.
Until 1984, West Orange had two public high schools. West Orange High School was located where Seton Hall Prep now stands, and Mountain High School was located at the current location. Mountain High School merged with WOHS during the 1984-85 school year.
At the event, outstanding players and Hall of Famers were recognized by the current Mountaineer baseball team, Principal Hayden Moore, head baseball coach Steve Zichella, assistant coaches and attendees. The mood was light as old friends reunited after many years to reminisce about their high school days.
“I believe playing these games with throwback uniforms is a very important event for both the community and students,” Fagan said. “It helps us all remember a time when West Orange supported two schools. Both the Mountain Rams and the West Orange Cowboys are important components of a proud tradition known as the Mountaineers today. Student athletes are inspired by legacy and knowing their history is a flashpoint to inspire them to be part of it. Events like this give both current students and alumni the opportunity to bridge the gap between the past and present in a meaningful way.”
Rams alumni attending the event included: Anthony Pucillo, Mike Stefanelli, Mike Cifaretto, Jim Petrillo, Eric Close, Peter Feinblatt, Ray Kleiven and Richie Hoatson. Cowboys alumni attending the event included: Jim Quinn, Philip Dagostino, Clay Holland, John Kessler, Matt Farley, Carmine D’Aiuto, Robert Parisi, Daniel Parisi, Gary Massa, Michael Marcantonio and Nick Michochi.
West Orange took the win over Newark Academy, 3-2, on May 21, and outpaced Passaic Valley 8-7 in the May 22 game.
Photos Courtesy of Joseph Fagan and Cynthia Cumming