NUTLEY, NJ-- A successful high school public football team will generally gain momentum with a good feeder program. Such is the case at Nutley, as the Junior Raiders 'B' team captured a Super Bowl championship, defeating a very good team from Caldwell, 19-12, on Nov. 10.
According to Frank DeMaio, the Superintendent of Recreation in Nutley, the Junior Raiders finished 5-3 in the regular season, then turned it on, big time, in the post-season.
Seeded fourth, Nutley defeated the top-seed, West Essex, 14-13, in the semifinals, before stopping Caldwell in the championship game.
Jeremiah Tirado had a tremendous championship game for the Raiders, scoring all three of his team's touchdowns, including one on a kickoff return.
"Both West Essex and Caldwell had tremendous teams and programs," said DeMaio. "Caldwell had teams play in the 'A', 'B' and 'C' championship games.
Nutley's championship in the 'B' division was for players in grades 5 and 6.
"We had a good mix of fifth and sixth graders," said DeMaio. "The coaches did a tremendous job."
The coaching staff was made up of Justin Murphy, Donnie King, Antonio Maiden, John Cifelli, Carmen LoRe, Jr. and Mike Berardesco.
The players on the 'B' team are Victoria Aponte, Aidan Rotbaum, Henry Nalvarte, Daniel Zacatzontle, Jonathan Cirigliano, Jeremiah Tirado, Brady King, Rocco Diliberto, Franklin Rodriguez, Michael Fazio, A.J. DelGreco, Justin Lees, Santino Cundiff, Mohammed Mughal, Nicholas Del Tufo, Jonathon Tucci, Riley Garofalo, Sean Torres, Devin Martin, Marcello Marfia, Sean Vilchez, Jacob Salvador, Christopher Cifelli, Trace Castellanos, Russell Van de Zilver, Avian Santana, Raymond Agosto, Matty Richards, AJ Maiden, James Colarusso, Marcus Durham, Anthony Curcio, Brayden Hernandez, Jacob Harlow, Michael Berardesco, Devin Telcide, Nolan Brewer, Angel Cedeno, Brandon Walder, Joshua Salgado, Anthony Raffa, Liam Murphy, Foster Smith and .Eddie Butts.
"It was great to see the kids play their best at the end of the season," said DeMaio. "As a town, we're excited about our football program, both in the recreation and then the high school level. Our 'A' and 'C' teams also did a good job. We were pretty young for our age group in those leagues, but the kids got playing time and next year, a lot of them will have that experience of playing and should continue to improve."
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