WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School was the host for a big SEC conference matchup on November 2 between the Montclair Mounties and the West Orange Mountaineers, and while the Mountaineers fell to Montclair 40-13, pre-game activities were a huge success. A nostalgic tribute to the Varsity athletes of WOHS, 1943-1946, and a look ahead to future varsity players with an introduction of the West Orange Police Athletic League teams touched the community and players alike.
The honorees consisted of Norm Carlson, Fred Kluge, Bud Fennell, Al Morasso, Herb Wolf, John Hooper, Don Horn, and Pete Ibsen. Lou Kramer, who passed away on October 23, was honored posthumously. October 23. Everyone in Suriano Stadium bowed their heads in a moment of silence before the game to pay their respects to Kramer.
Don Horn is the former owner of Pal’s Cabin and he along with his brother were great football players for West Orange High School back in the 40’s. Bud “Bull” Fennel was a great baseball player in the West Orange industrial leagues. Fred Kluge, Al Morasso, Herb Wolf, and Pete Ibsen were all members of the football team.
“The equipment, jerseys, and game have changed a lot since the 40’s,” said Herb Wolf, “It seems like concussions are occurring more often now then they were when I played.”
In addition to the honorees, the West Orange PAL football and cheerleading teams were presented during the pregame show. Parents, students and community members cheered for the kids as they enjoyed their opportunity to run out on the field in front of the crowd. As the cheerleaders and the football players ran out, their names were announced amid cheers and photo opportunities. The Mustang cheerleaders and players remained on the field as the Mountaineers ran out, giving high-fives and patting the varsity athletes on the back.
Most of the eighth grade cheerleaders and football players will be heading to West Orange High School next September to join freshman teams.
The honorees were introduced to the crowd and were in the middle of the field during the coin toss between the Mounties and the Mountaineers. West Orange did an excellent job in showcasing their middle school teams and honoring their former players. It raised the atmosphere for the already highly-anticipated game.