State section champion Glen Ridge HS baseball team honored by Essex County Freeholders

At the Hall of Records in Newark, New Jersey, (from left to right, front row) Head Coach Liam Penberthy, Cole Greenberg, Johnny Mitzak, Billy Kelty, Freeholder Vice President Brendan W. Gill, (from left to right, second row) Zach Debelak, Brian Schnack, Max Habernam, Owen Gagen, Joe Hellevig, and Assistant Coach Rich Adams joined together in celebration of the Glen Ridge High School baseball team’s NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state championship win.
Photo courtesy by Glen Frieson

NEWARK – During a special presentation held at the Hall of Records in Newark on August 9, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the Glen Ridge High School baseball team, which won the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state championship this spring.

Freeholder At-Large and Vice President of the Board Brendan W. Gill of Montclair presented the team with the Board’s Commendation, celebrating their championship win. During the presentation, Freeholder Gill shared remarks, stating, “Although I am a Montclair Mountie, I am certainly proud to honor Glen Ridge this afternoon for what you have accomplished. I follow high school sports, and to win a championship title in the Group 1 division is certainly challenging, and I commend you for that.”

Head Coach Liam Penberthy and Assistant Coach Richard Adams accepted the Commendation on behalf of the team. Penberthy stated, “Last year, our season didn’t end the way we anticipated, but from that season forward, we became dedicated to winning and went on to win the championship title.” He shared how important the players are to the citizens of Glen Ridge and went on to thank the Board for supporting the team.

Senior Billy F. Kelty, III, also shared remarks, adding, “As a senior this year, it was pretty cool to, for the first time in 24 years, bring home a championship title. As a senior now, we are the only boys team, besides golf, to win a championship. So, I thank you for having us.”

The baseball team won the championship title on June 2, after defeating Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, 11-0. In the state tournament games, Glen Ridge also faced Secaucus, prevailing, 8-3, in the first round, Roselle Park, 11-0, in the second round, and North Arlington, 8-0, in the third round. The team finished the season ranked No. 4 in  New Jersey for Group 1 schools. GRHS had an overall record of 12-14.

The team was further recognized through honors bestowed upon several individual players, including Brian Schnack, All State Group 1 Second Team, and All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division Second Team; Owen Hannigan, All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division Second Team; Matt Myles, All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division Honorable Mention; and Max Haberman, All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division Honorable Mention.

The team is comprised of the following members: Seniors: Joe Hellevig, Billy Kelty, James Malik, Matt Myles, Grant Naylor, and Maxwell Thompson; Juniors: Cole Greenberg, Owen Hannigan, and Brian Schnack; Sophomores: Zach Debelak, Tyler Fazekas, Owen Gagen, Max Haberman, and Johnny Mitzak; and Freshman: Jack Cotrone.

Penberthy, Adams, and Athletic Trainer Tia Gist led the players to victory. The team also received administrative support from Superintendent of Schools Dirk Phillips, Principal Louis Melchor, Assistant Principal Dr. Keisha Harris, and Director of Student Activities Tim Liddy.