OHS seniors commit to colleges

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It was signing day at Orange High School.

Seven standout student athletes announced where they would be attending college and playing football in the fall.

Vice Principal and Athletic Director Anthony Frantanoni began the event congratulating all the seniors and pointing out that hundreds of thousands of students who are currently seniors are hoping to play a sport in college but only 7 % will get that opportunity.

The star of the show was record setting quarterback Maurice Williams, who threw for more than 2,300 yards and 30 touchdowns, ran for 700 yards and seven touchdowns and was among the top quarterbacks statistically in the state of New Jersey.

“The pride of Orange, the pride of the Orange Bengals (youth team), home grown, right here. I remember him in eighth grade, throwing passes to our varsity receivers,” Head Coach Khalfani Alleyne said of Williams. “This is a big deal, not only for him and his family, but all of us in Orange.”

Williams thanked God and his mom and the coaching staff before announcing he was off to play at Wagner College on Staten Island in the fall.

“With that, Maurice Williams becomes the first Orange quarterback to go to a Division 1 school to play quarterback,” Frantanoni said.

The other signees included Luis Rivera and A’ayad Bondurant going to East Stroudsburg; Rajani Munore and Marquis Bariffe to Montclair State; Christian Brewster attending Fairleigh Dickinson University; and Makhy Acey to New Haven University.

Alleyne had nice things to say about all of the players, thanking them and their their families for their support.

Most of the players thanked God and their mothers, some thanked their fathers and some even thanked their sisters.

“I want to thank the coaches for making me like football,” said Marquis Bariffe.

Of A’ayad Bondurant, Alleyne noted how he had only begun attending the school this year so he had to sit out the first few games.

“When he was finally able to play, he not only stepped in, he stepped up,” Alleyne said. Bondurant played left tackle, which is considered to be the toughest and most demanding position on the offensive line, Alleyne said.

In return, Bondurant thanked the coaches and his family for their support.

“I want to thank my mom and my sisters for their support and I wanted to thank my coaches,” said Bondurant.

Speaking of Rajani Munroe, Alleyne said this was only the second year Munroe had ever played football.

“My guy, Rajani, first year playing football was last year,” Alleyne said. “Jamaican born, American football was new to him.”

Munroe, who also competes in track, is known for his speed and Alleyne credited his play on defense with leading to several sacks for the team.

“I’d like to thank my mom and the coaches,” Munroe said, as he announced he would be attending Montclair State.

Alleyne described Luis Rivera as one of the hardest working guys on the team and also one of the most fun.

“One of our most colorful personalities,” Alleyne said. “You can’t find anyone in the locker room, or the school, who doesn’t like Luis.”

Rivera was full of praise for the school and staff.

“I want to thank my teachers, the administrators, everyone who helped me on this journey,” Rivera said.

Alleyne had a special connection to Christian Brewster, who has been a neighbor for at least five years.

“I’ve watched this young man grow up,” Alleyne said. “To see him now, it’s amazing.”

Brewster thanked family, friends, teammates and even had a special word of thanks for the janitors at the school.

“I’ve been through a lot as a kid but it helped me grow into a better person,” he said. “We had our ups and downs but you never let me down.”

All State wide receiver Makhy Acey, who is headed to the University of New Haven, was described by Alleyne as a pleasure to coach.

“The energy this man brings to the game and the effort he brings to the game is unmatched,” Alleyne said.

For his part, Acey said there had been a lot of ups and downs over the years but his family, teammates and the school staff had helped him through it all.

“I want to thank my mom and dad,” he said. “And my sisters, the coaches, the academic counselors, without them this wouldn’t have been possible. And my teammates, they made the best memories of my life.”