CLARK, NJ – Student athletes throughout Arthur L. Johnson High School rallied recently to take part in a spike ball tournament that served as a fundraiser for the family of Julia Morreale, who is battling cancer. 

The “Spike It for a Cure” tournament was started by senior Danny McCaffery, who himself battled and overcame cancer at an early age. Also assisting with the tournament was senior Matthew Zuckowski. In total, the event brought 24 teams to the event.

“The student athletes from Arthur L. Johnson High School were extremely excited to be a part of the 1st Annual “Spike It for a Cure” spike ball tournament,” said McCaffery. “Not only was it a great time for everyone involved, promoting school spirit and unity, but the best part about it was that all proceeds went to the Morreale family to assist them through these difficult times.”

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According to school officials, the first three rounds took place on Monday, March 29. Most of the higher seeds advanced but the tournament did see some upsets as the Steven McCaffery & Anthony LaPorta tandem, who was ranked 23rd out of a possible 24 teams, knocked off both the 10th and 7th seeds to advance to the semifinals.

The semifinals brought Johnson Boys Soccer represented by the Raymond Torres & Brandon Costa duo who took on Anthony Ferreira and Gabe Rizzuto. The other side of the bracket was Brandon Castro & Jack Bencivenga vs. Stephen McCaffery & Anthony LaPorta. The finals consisted of Raymond Torres & Brandon Costa vs. Brandon Castro & Jack Bencivenga. The eventual champions were Team Castro & Bencivenga, who outlasted everyone in the tournament.

In the end McCaffery was happy with the first event. “Overall I feel like it was a huge success for a really great cause.”

Athletic Director Gus Kalikas was proud of the accomplishments of the students. ”It was awesome to see the student athletes organize, promote and run this fundraiser for such a worthy cause,” he said. “To be able to raise over $1,400.00 to donate was incredible. This is just a testament to the wonderful student athletes that we have in our hallways here at Arthur L. Johnson High School.”

*For Readers interested in supporting the Morreale family, there is a Go Fund Me Page here.

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