NUTLEY – The Nutley High School boys’ varsity soccer team, guided by head coach Marcellino Marra, boasted outstanding players this season. The Raiders, despite finishing with a 7-11-4 record, were extremely competitive this season.
NHS, seeded ninth, lost to top-seeded West Orange, 1-0, in the Essex County Tournament quarterfinals. In the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 tournament quarterfinals, the seventh-seeded Raiders fell to No. 2 seed Hopewell Valley in a penalty-kick shootout after the game was scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods. Hopewell Valley won the PK shootout, 7-6, to end the Raiders’ season.
The following NHS players have been named to the Worrall Media All-Area Team:
- Geoffrey Bevere, a senior forward, had 10 goals and nine assists. “Geoffrey is an offensive presence who has the ability to score several ways,” said Marra. “He is great with his head, but can also beat you with a hard shot. He made the players around him better with his unselfish play up front.”
- Anthony DeBlasio, a senior forward, had six goals. “Anthony has blinding speed who works hard the entire game,” Marra said. “He came up big this year and scored some very important goals – two game-winners in overtime. A committed member of the team, he is one of the emotional leaders we have.”
- Dom Palumbo, a senior defender, had five assists. “Dom is a tough defender who can play with both feet – a true modern soccer defender,” said Marra. “He has the ability to transition from defense to offense and has the ability to pick out a player in an offensive position with his passes.”
- Jack Van Schoick, a senior midfielder, had three goals and one assist this season. “Jack is a dead-ball specialist who can score using both feet; a hard worker who has the ability to hurt a team with a single strike,” said Marra.
- Michael Conca, a senior midfielder, had two goals and two assists this season. “Michael is the workhorse in the middle of the field; he never stops running and transitions well from offense to defense,” said Marra. “He was the glue that kept the defense and offense together.”
- Billy Montgomery, a senior defender, had three goals and one assist this season. “Billy is a true center-back,” said Marra. “He is hard-nosed, strong in the air, and loves to get forward. He can play offense in addition to defense. Many players had trouble beating him due to his size, strength, and speed.”
- Jack Contini, a senior goalkeeper, “helped us to stay in the game,” said Marra. “He wasn’t afraid to sacrifice his body to make the save.”
- CJ Haddock, a junior midfielder, had one goal and two assists this season. “CJ works hard on the field all the time. He is a physical midfielder who can separate the defense with a pass. CJ has the ability to transition from defense to offense and is usually starting the counter attack.”
Bevere and Montgomery made second team on the All-Super Essex Conference-American Division. DeBlasio and Contini made honorable mention on the All-SEC-American.