Orange HS football team boasts All-Area players during fine 7-3 campaign

ORANGE – The Orange High School varsity football team featured several outstanding players during its 7-3 playoff season.

The following players have earned Worrall Media All-Area honors: senior offensive guard/defensive tackle Ahmir Copher, junior running back/linebacker Umar Jenkins, senior slotback/free safety Ricarkdo Francis, freshman cornerback Nyquee Hawkins, senior running back/defensive back Al’Jaqua Hawkins, Nyquee’s cousin; junior slotback/linebacker Rasheed Boyd, junior slotback/linebacker Tyrese Harris, junior wide receiver Dequan Battles, sophomore linebacker Mahkye Boswell, senior defensive end Dadmuel Firmin, senior center Shamil Roberts and senior quarterback Taree Ward-May.

The Tornadoes started the season at 6-0. In the first round of the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs, the fourth-seeded Tornadoes lost to fifth-seeded Ridgefield Park, 33-12, to end the season. It marked the second year in a row that OHS lost in the first round of the Section 2, Group 3 playoffs. Still, head coach Randy Daniel was proud of his team.

“I felt we should have beaten Ridgefield Park. But we had a good season,” Daniel said. “It doesn’t take away from it. (At) 7-3, it was a good season. These kids were fantastic. They did a great job. They did everything we asked them to do; we just fell short. They tried; they really were trying; it wasn’t for lack of effort. They did a good job.”

Daniel,  who completed his 20th year at the helm, praised his players for their work off the field, particularly in the classroom. Indeed, Daniel has high hopes for the Tornadoes next year.

Daniel especially wants to keep players for all four years in the program.

OHS results (7-3 record)

Sept. 11, Won, Ferris, 41-0

Sept. 19, Won, Irvington, 8-6

Sept. 26, Won, at Columbia, 21-14

Oct. 3, Won, Belleville, 45-12

Oct. 9, Won, at Shabazz, 13-12

Oct. 16, Won, Millburn, 20-14

Oct. 24, Loss, Cedar Grove, 14-8

Oct. 31, Loss, at Verona, 29-6

Nov. 6, Won, West Side, 42-0

Nov. 13, Loss, Ridgefield Park, 33-12*

*North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs