EAST HANOVER, NJ- Tuesday night saw East Hanover’s Town Council meeting packed with proud friends and families as 5 individual sports teams were honored for their accomplishments this past season.
The East Hanover Gazelles U10 girls soccer team, the East Hanover Cheetahs U12 girls soccer team, and the East Hanover Eagles U10 boys soccer team all claimed first in their flights. In addition to this, for the first time in East Hanover’s history, the middle school’s baseball and softball teams each won their divisions in the same year.
The U12 East Hanover Cheetahs took their flight by storm with 32-3-4 record over the course of the season. Starting this fall, the girls will play in the next level by entering the Eastern Development Program and playing league soccer.
“These girls have come a long way over the last 4 years we have been together, going from a flight 6 to a flight 1," coach JP Veigas said. "I can’t wait to see them in high school where hopefully they can bring home a state trophy.”
The U10 East Hanover Eagles took their flight with a perfect season, winning all 10 matches they played. They were dominant in the league with a total of 50 goals for and 11 against. This is even more impressive as the team had one of the fewest player counts in the league with many kids playing the whole match without any substitutions. Their efforts earned the boys not only a perfect record, but the ability to play in a higher flight next year.
The middle school baseball team brought home the conference championship for the 4th time in nearly five decades. The conference was formed 49 years ago this past season. This supplied the first half of the history making year with their efforts.
“Offense wins games, defense wins championships," head coach Greg Gruzdis said. "In my 15 years coaching this team, this is the best defensive team I have ever coached by far. I’m very proud of them.”
Completing the history making year for East Hanover, the middle school softball team took home a championship of their own. The program has made it to five finals in the last eight years and head coach Michael Colasurdo expressed great pride in his group of young women for their outstanding accomplishments.
As with the baseball program, the softball team showed an iron defensive backbone, taking down a team that scored 10 runs on them last year by a score of 3-0.
The festivities ended with the U10 East Hanover Gazelles. The girls took their flight with an 8-2 record that included 46 goals. The girls fired in 46 goals over the 10 games. After all of these accomplishments, head coach Gina Liebhauser was most proud of her team’s sportsmanship.
“There were many games where the referees came up to us and said they had never seen a team with such good sportsmanship," she said. "That means more than the sport in my book.”
Mayor Joseph Pannullo concluded the meeting with a congratulations to everyone.
"We achieved a lot this year and are very proud of all of our students," Panullo said. "In East Hanover we may not all be related by blood but we are by community and that makes us family.”