WEST ORANGE, NJ – At West Orange High School this winter, such talented athletes as Mya Bembry in girls’ basketball and Noah Tandy and Sebastian Rawls in wrestling were in the spotlight.
But a youngster under the radar for WOHS was Davey Campbell, a junior forward for the hockey team. Campbell, who has the ability to make some great moves on the ice, was one of the state’s top offensive threats in 2017-18. Campbell came up with 50 goals and added 24 assists for 74 points in 22 games.
“We only had a record of 8-12-2,” said West Orange head coach Ed Scafidi, “but we held our own for the most part. We had a slump in the middle of the season, and that prevented us from making the state tournament.”
Campbell, who has 101 goals and 63 assists in his superb career, always seemed to keep the team in contention. And he had a habit of coming through in the bigger contests.
On Dec. 18, the eve of the NHL’s 100th anniversary, Campbell showed his stuff at Codey Arena. The junior netted a pair of goals in West Orange’s 5-3 loss to Robbinsville.
And in a loss to Frisch in the semifinals of the McMullen Cup in the N.J. Interscholastic League, he had one goal and one assist. Frisch went on to beat Oratory Prep, 6-4, in the finals.
“Davey plays the game with great intensity,” said Scafidi, “and he’s really smart out on the ice. He’s not a big kid, but he’s tough to contain because he’s very quick and shifty.”
Campbell, who made some dazzling moves on breakaways, comes from a pretty talented hockey family. Older brother Dan played for the team, and younger brother Dale is on the way up.
West Orange, which was one of the original five teams in the North Jersey Scholastic Hockey League in 1958-59, complemented Campbell with some other quality performers. Other top players for the Mountaineers included senior forward Charles Aborisade, sophomore forward Matt Esquerre and senior goalie Matt Guedes.
Aborisade ended up with 17 goals and 23 assists, while Esquerre, who should be a key player next winter, registered 13 goals and 15 assists.
“We’re going to miss Matt in the nets next season,” said Scafidi. “He was reliable for the team throughout the season. Some of our returning defensemen will have to pick up their games for the 2018-19 season. I think the kids we have back on defense will play well next year, and that might help us challenge for the McMullen Cup.”
Scafidi thinks that a developing youth program in the town will help to give WOHS much stronger teams down the road.
“I think the interest in the sport is back in our community,” said Scafidi. “Our town neighbor, Seton Hall Prep, had a real nice season, and we were respectable. Heck, people have to come out next winter and see what Davey can do in his senior season.”
ICE CHIPS – In the NJIHL this winter, Delbarton won the 60th Gordon Cup, Summit won the 25th McInnis Cup, and Millburn captured the Kelly Cup. Former SHP star Brandon Doria has done a fine job as the Millburn head coach…
Rich McLaughlin of Randolph and Delbarton’s Bruce Shatel each picked up their 400th career victories this winter…
West Orange tied Montclair in the 1961 Gordon Cup final, 2-2.