LIVINGSTON, NJ – The final Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meeting of 2016 paid tribute to the Livingston varsity girls’ soccer team and retiring boys' and girls' volleyball coach Al Partelow.

Following a multi-faith, holiday-themed Mount Pleasant Middle School band performance, led by band director and teacher Stafford Horne, Livingston High School (LHS) Athletic Director Dave Cohen and 14-year head coach Paul Raiz recognized members of the girls’ soccer team for kicking their way into one of the winningest seasons on record for the sport in LHS history. 

“This season was a fantastic season for our girls’ soccer team,” said Cohen.  “We finished with a record of 19-1-1.” 

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According to Cohen, the team allowed only seven goals to be scored against them throughout the entire three-month season.  He acknowledged Raiz, six-season coach Brian Carr, three-season coach Natalie Natale and newcomer coaches Joe Gill and Steve Brooks for leading the team to an SEC Conference championship, Essex County Tournament championship and North I Group IV title—the last of which marks the second time in Lancer history that a team has won a state sectional title. 

Based on these accolades, the team was also ranked No. 11 in the state at season’s end. Teammates on hand, including nine exiting seniors, were called upon at the meeting to receive a round of applause for their talent and skill both on the field and off, where coaches said they consistently acted as role models for the younger generation. 

“The girls were amazing this year,” said Raiz. “They worked harder than any team I think we’ve ever had. They were competitive in practice and on the field as they supported each other and that’s what made it an amazing season.”

Cohen then turned his attention to honoring what he described as the “magnificent” career of girls’ and boys’ volleyball coach, Al Partelow, who is retiring after 45 successful years.

Under Partelow’s direction, the girls’ team accumulated more than 400 wins and the boys accumulated nearly 375 for the boys’ team. He is also retiring with 11 conference titles, three state sectional championships and two state championships.

Other career highlights included Partelow’s being named New Jersey Girls State Coach of the Year in 2011 and National High School Coach of the Year in 2012.

“Al has clearly filled our trophy cases with a ton of awards, but the greatest coaches are not just the ones who win championships but the ones who the kids can’t wait to come back and see after they’ve graduated,” said Cohen. “Al sets that bar extremely high. When we see coaches today go through the grind of the season and, after four or five seasons say, ‘Not for me, anymore,’ you realize what a great credit it is to Coach Partelow that he’s been here for 45 years.” 

Partelow, joined by his wife, Shirley, thanked the LBOE for its support of the athletic programs over the years and assured those in attendance that he will continue to support the Lancers from the sidelines. (To read more about Partelow's career, click HERE.)

All photos provided by Marilyn Lehren, Livingston Public Schools:

Livingston Board of Education Honors Retiring Volleyball Coach Al Partelow (From left: outgoing LBOE President Ron Spring, Coach Sl Partelow, wife Shirley Partelow and LHS Athletic Director Dave Cohen)

Livingston Board of Education Honors Girls’ Varsity Soccer (From left: Seniors Jolie Price, Ashley Reuter, Olivia Shevrin, Caitlyn Sugarman, Megan Leffler, Marissa Rivera, Alex Franchino, Abby Kuznick and Caitlyn Kelly with LBOE President Ron Spring, Paul Raiz, Dave Cohen and Steve Brooks)

Mount Pleasant Middle School Band Performs at Livingston Board of Education Meeting (From left: Leah Waessa, clarinet; Max Israel, trumpet, Rahul Nambiar, trumpet, Eric Brekham, clarinet, Chris Jeong, trumpet, Isaiah Chang, trumpet, Eric Boulineau, clarinet, Lucas Swee, alto saxophone; Anna Weiner, tenor saxophone, Ryan Greenberg, tenor saxophone, Zoe Parrott, flute, Owen Tamasco, bass clarinet, Lucas Zhu, trombone)