Win It For Tradition, D'Emilio Pre-Game Speech Inspires GL to Victory over New Providence

Gov. Livingston football team with the Mayor's Cup trophy after defeating New Providence on Saturday, 35-14. Game winning ball was handed to Carl D'Emilio who was part of the '84 team. Credits: Lori Ruggiero
"Fight Like A Highlander": Highlander Alumni, including several members of the '84 winning football team. Pictured left to right: Ryan Jennings, Jay Haddad, Mark Stallone, Jim Reynolds, Gary Del Duca, Ian Bolden, Vin Crisafi, Carl D’Emilio, Jon Romankow. Credits: John Haddad
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Rugiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero
Credits: Lori Ruggiero

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - "Fight Like A Highlander" -- was the message delivered in the pre-game locker room talk by Gov. Livingston alumni before the Thanksgiving game against New Providence, played on Saturday at Lieder Field in New Providence.

Regardless of the Highlanders' win-loss record, they battled it out for the pride and tradition of their program. A victory that has been only celebrated four times in the 33 year rivalry tradition against New Providence. Winning in 1984, 1997, 2005 -- and now 2014.

“I think that is the biggest difference between this game and other games: it all comes down to pride at the end of the game,” said Highlander alumnus John Haddad. 

Sign Up for E-News

Both teams feel that this game presents an opportunity to go out with a victory and bragging rights to the Mayor's Cup trophy. 

Head coach Dan Guyton, also an alumnus of the Highlander program, reminded his players of the pride behind this football program, telling his team that people care about them and are rooting for them. He then introduced members of the infamous '84 team. The players listened in silence as the members of the '84 team spoke words of encouragement. 

GL's first win in 1984 was emotional, it was an electric -- an unbelievable atmosphere, recalled Haddad, whose brother, Jay, was on the team. 

Thirty years later, teammate Carl D'Emilio ('86) spoke to this Highlander team and delivered a heartfelt message of responsibility for others:

"Thanksgiving, you are playing for your family...and you are playing for the guys that are next to you... you are playing for us... you are playing for a tradition for the school... you are playing for all of the years that came before you and all the years that go ahead of you. So, when you go out there today and you give 100-percent, you are doing it for him and him and all of the guys next to you. You should go home in pain. Not because of the guy on the other side of the line. You should go home in pain because you gave it every ounce of energy you had today. You owed it to him, to us, to each other. It is not about you today, it is about the tradition for the school. It's about the team... it's about 100-percent of every player next to you. Good luck."

Just as the famous "Win One for the Gipper" speech to the Notre Dame players at halftime of the 1928 Army game provided a great message of inspiration --D'Emilio's message is a lesson --  teaching these boys the responsibility for others. 

GL's 35-14 win over New Providence on Saturday lifted the Highlanders' record to 5-5, marking their first .500 season since 2009.

For many of the players, this was their final game of organized football. Many of the memories will last their lifetimes. But what memory or moment stands out the most? That was the question posed to the senior class.

Frank Barone #44 - My favorite football memory has to be our win against New Providence senior year.  Ever since we first strapped on our pads and helmets back in our PAL years we had one common goal, to beat New Providence. Playing football with my closest friends for the last ten years has been the time of my life and has provided me with the opportunity to make memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. I couldn't think of a better way to go out then beating New Providence and lifting the trophy up with my teammates. 

Jimmy Longo #85 - My favorite football moment had to be the New Providence game that was just recently played. This was definitely my greatest football moment so far because we got the trophy back for GL. Also, I think this was one of the best games we played as a team. Everyone did their job and executed the plan the coaches laid out for us and it made us quite successful. 

Michael Policastro #9 - I would have to say playing my last game as a Highlander with my brothers beating New Providence and holding that trophy with my team! 

James Ruggiero #5 - My favorite football memory is beating New Providence for the first time in nine years and bringing the Mayor's trophy back to Governor Livingston.

Jason Reinstein #68 - Over my four years with the team and this group of seniors, we have all grown up a lot. We have gone through a lot of adversity - but we learned that no matter what, if we stick together, we can overcome anything. One of the best moments has to be raising up that trophy awarded to the winner of the Thanksgiving Day game after a 9 year drought from our school. For players like John Wills and myself, who faced season ending injuries after waiting our whole lives for our senior season, it meant the world to us to share a special moment like that. Another thing is all of the off the field things our team does, such as volunteering at the Children’s Specialized Hospital, participating in the town cleanup, and giving the Thanksgiving Day game ball to a former Highlander, Carl D'Emilio. All of these things I hold very dear to me and I will never forget them. This program led by Coach Guyton has helped shape us into model citizens and helped mature and ready us for college and everything that lies ahead. I am proud to be a part of this program, and forever thankful that I will be a Highlander football player for life. Burn The Ships. 

Sean Tomlinson #71 - It's a great way to end as seniors -- going out with a BANG beating our rivals New Providence!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Andrew Zecca #10 - GL Highlander Band of Brothers...We are all in it to win it...Fail to prepare; prepare to fail Our best game…beating New Providence and making history.  Dedicated to Carl Demilio.

Alex Boyd #26 - Winning my last high school football game against New Providence. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

May 17, 2018

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

I am Proud to be Your Mayor

Honesty and results. Those two principles characterize my service to our community for the last nine years. I served on Town Council for four years and have been your Mayor for five years. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community, steering it in a positive direction. During this time, I have learned about our Town, identified areas for improvement and been privileged ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

May 21, 2018

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Taxes up, Services down.....At least someone is listening

Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order ...

Who Is Dmitriy?

Who Is Dmitriy?

That is the question I asked myself in the past year or two. I first chanced across him online in community conversation. When an issue seemed to go nowhere, people starting to get ugly and nasty, personal attacks escalating, in would pop Dmitriy and with one comment, he could sum things up. He based his  opinion on information he knew, coupled with what he could glean ...

Host an International Exchange Student

May 21, 2018

EF High School Exchange Year announces annual search for student exchange host families in communities across the New Jersey

EF High School Exchange Year—a division of EF Education First, the World Leader in International Education—has kicked off its annual nationwide search for caring host families to welcome exchange students into their homes. Last year EF connected over 3,000 ...

Berkeley Heights Community Pool Set to Open May 26!

Tired of the rain and ready for the sun? We sure are! The Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA is slated to open during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend on May 26! With only one month until summer starts, swimmers can get a headstart jump into the pool during our pre-season opening! 

Join the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA today—there are no joining fees, and ...

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel Presents Special Women’s program


Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel, 763 Mountain Avenue, Berkeley Heights, is very pleased to host a unique free seminar for women on Saturday June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The speaker will be Doctor Ruth Schwertfeger of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ruth was born in Northern Ireland, is a retired Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She speaks several languages, and ...

Kids Can Change The World

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness


Mon, May 21, 7:30 PM

New Providence

Marijuana: Decriminalize? Legalize?

Health & Wellness

Thu, May 24, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...