CEDAR GROVE, NJ - The future looks bright for Cedar Grove High School Track and Field.  In only his first season competing in the event, freshman Endri Yzellari has earned seven first place finishes in shot put including taking first at Friday’s SEC Championship Meet.  Yzellari is the Allstate Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week.  The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley, Allstate Insurance Agent, 471 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove. 

“Since the first day of the season, Endri has been a dedicated and hardworking athlete, who was always looking to improve. During the season he earned seven 1st place finishes in dual meets, and finished in the top 20 at the Essex County Relays meet, as one of only two freshmen in the competition,” said Head Coach Michael Moussab.  “ Endri’s hard work paid off when he finished first at Conference Championship with a throw of 40’8”. Currently he is ranked top 5 in North 2 Group 1. The coaching staff is looking forward to seeing how Endri competes at the County Championships, as well as, sectionals and hopefully The Group 1 championship meet.”

Yzellari’s path to shot put actually started with cross country in the fall.  

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“I did cross country in the fall and winter track after that so I figured I’d do spring track as well and someone suggested shot put and here we are,” Yzellari said.  “I really like the different aspects of shot put -- the combination of strength and technical ability. To see that ball as you throw it in the air and then watch it drop and roll is really great.”

Yzellari has also enjoyed being part of a team and respects the leadership the seniors have demonstrated throughout the season.  

“We’ve done pretty well this season, but of course there’s always room for improvement.  Over all our team works very well together and everyone has such dedication -- especially the seniors,” he explained  “They are so determined to work hard and do well because they know it’s their last season and it’s been great to see everyone work so hard and I appreciate their effort and being a part of it.”

With a strong history in track and field, CGHS is looking to replace some key team members lost to graduation last year and Yzellari is representing the underclassmen well.  

“The team as a whole lost players over the years, especially last year, so there have been big shoes to fill and there will continue to be big shoes to fill in years to come,” Yzellari said.  “I’d say our greatest strength is cooperation. We all get along. Everyone listens to their coach, there’s no back talk. You do what you’re told and everyone succeeds.”

With all his success this season, Yzellari named the SEC Championships as his favorite, not only because of his own success, but because of the success of his teammates.

“It was a pretty tough competition and everyone did well.  Everyone was getting new PRs (personal records) and I got first place which was fantastic,” Yzellari said.  “Looking ahead I just want to finish strong and show my team and New Jersey what I can do.”  

With the help of his coaches and the support of his teammates, Yzellari’s Track and Field future at CGHS looks bright.

“The team overall has been so supportive of each other.  If someone’s fallen they support and pick them up,” he said.  “I appreciate the help and support. Of course it’s my first year at shot put and Coach Moose and Moogan have been great and I’ve really learned a lot.”

The Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley Allstate, 471 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove. 

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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