NUTLEY, NJ - A proclamation was presented to the Nutley High School Raider Marching Band and the Nutley Jr. Raider Fifth and Sixth Grade Football Team received a resolution during the Tuesday, Dec. 3 Nutley Board of Commissioners public meeting.

NHS students, fifth and sixth graders and their parents filled the Commission Chambers anxiously waiting to hear Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli read the proclamation and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. present the resolution.

The marching band received first place in Group IVA at the USBands New Jersey State Championships held in Sayreville on Nov. 2. They received Caption Awards for Best Music, Best Visual, Best Overall, Best Percussion and Best Color Guard, earning a score of 95.24.

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The band also received second place out of 14 marching bands in Group IVA at the USBands National Championships held in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Nov. 3. They received Caption Awards for Best Music and Best Visual, receiving a score of 93.99.

This year the NHS Raider Marching Band received five first place finishes, one second place finish and 23 Caption Awards.

The marching band consists of 94 members and is under the direction of Vincent Vicchiariello, band director; Julia Wehrer, assistant band director; and drum majors Zachary Mackiewicz and Alex Merritt.

According to Vicchiariello the marching band is the biggest group the high school had in 20 years with 94 members. This year 29 members will be graduating. “[…] I’m sad to see them go because their leadership and guidance has been wonderful this year and I hope it trickles down into the rest of the students we have coming up through our program,” he said.

“This group behind me and those who aren’t present tonight have exceeded every expectation that we had this season. As a Raider Marching Band we pushed every single limit that we had,” said Vicchiariello.


Tucci read the resolution for the Nutley Jr. Raider Fifth and Sixth Grade Football Team.

The 44 member team was led by head coach Justin Murphy and assistant coaches Donnie King, Carmen Lore Jr., Antonio Maiden, John Cifelli and Mike Berardesc

The junior football team won seven games and lost three, capturing the West Essex Jr. Football League Superbowl Championship.

The team entered the playoffs as the #4 seed and defeated the #1 seed with a score of 14-13 and the #2 seed in the championship game by a score of 19-12.

Each of the commissioners spoke to the team and their parents about their accomplishment.

“In all my years in attending superbowl championship games, and playoff games, and regular season games, this was absolutely one of the most exciting and enjoyable games I have ever witnessed on a cold snowy day,” said Tucci. He added, “The fact that the coaches from the other team commended our players and our coaches on the way they conducted themselves spoke volumes for the township and the way we raise our children here.”

Public Affairs Commissioner Steven Rogers said, “A word to the parents and to the young people, the reason what we live in an extraordinary nation is because we have extraordinary people like yourselves.”

Revenue and Finance Commissoner Thomas J. Evans said, “There is an old saying that says all good things start at home, so to the parents, congratulations on how well you do on raising your children. Leadership is something that you actually learn to appreciate but you have few opportunities when you are young to display it. One way of doing that is being part of a team and going after something as a goal.”

Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said, “[…] the friendships that you foster, that you guys are all sitting next to each other, […] years ago I actually played, and the friends you have made through these years you’re going to carry though your whole life because there’s nothing like your childhood friends.[…} Take a look at each other guys, because 50 years from now you will still be staring in each other’s eyes.”

Scarpelli said, “You won and you lost together and you learned about teamwork and you learned about discipline and you learned about time management. Those are the things sports does for you, it teaches you those things.”

The commissioners also thanked the parents for their work and support of their children.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17.


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