NUTLEY, NJ--The fall sports season is now officially concluded at Nutley High. And while some athletes and coaches can catch their respective breaths, the winter athletic campaign begins with tryouts and early workouts for the Raiders, starting on Nov. 25.
Before talking about winter, here's a look back at a very successful girls volleyball season at Nutley, this fall.
Head coach Jenna Rubino's Raiders finished the 2019 season with an 18-4 record. The team also won a Super Essex Conference (SEC) championship.
"We had a great season," said Rubino, a former Nutley volleyball player. "We are moving up to the (SEC) Liberty division next year, which should be a challenge, but a great opportunity for us."
Bella Swann and Julia Ciccone earned first team, All-SEC accolades while Jenna Garner was named to the second team. Honorable Mention accolades were afforded to Samantha Daly and Brianna Cruz.
"We are losing two seniors and we had two sophomores starting this year, so we will still have a young court next year," said Rubino. "This is an awesome opportunity for us. Our success this year was because we worked together, and had excellent chemistry. I’m looking forward to seeing that chemistry again next year, but in a tougher division. My setter Mia Geraghty and my middle hitter, Jenna Garner, as well as outside hitter Julia Ciccone, and libero Sofia Caruso are coming back, and I think we can have a very good season (in 2020)."
Nutley qualified for the NJSIAA Tournament, but had to open the states at Absegami High School, which was a good 115 mile bus ride, each way. The Raiders played well in the state game, but lost in straight sets.
The winter sports season promises to be a busy one at Nutley. Some of the teams began practice earlier this month, and that includes ice hockey and bowling. But for basketball (boys and girls), wrestling and winter track, the festivities should begin before Thanksgiving. Some coaches use the two or three days before Thanksgiving as a time for its prospective athletes to see if the sport they're out for is really for them. Other sports, like wrestling, use the days to get the kids some time to get in gear, before a long holiday weekend.
Official practice commences on Dec. 2, and after the mandatory practice time, the teams can begin scrimmaging. The regular season starts around the third week of December, although bowling and ice hockey start earlier, which is why they began practice a few weeks ago.