Passaic Valley BOE Salutes Championship Ice Hockey Team, Students of the Month

The Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove Ice Hockey team was honored at Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting. Credits: Tina Pappas
Pictured is Robert "Tito" Ramirez, team captain and senior guard who was honored for his achievement in PV's boys basketball. Credits: Tina Pappas
Pictured is Nicholas DeNora who was honored for placing eighth in the state for high school wrestling. Credits: Tina Pappas
Pictured is PV's head wrestling coach Joseph Benvenuti was honored for Passaic County Wrestling Coach of the Year. Credits: Tina Pappas
Pictured are students of the month who were honored in the field of music and arts. Credits: Tina Pappas

LITTLE FALLS, NJ -   Passaic Valley High School Board of Education trustees honored students for both their academic and athletic achievements at its March 28 meeting.

"It's a lot of celebration and we're happy to have everyone here tonight who's being celebrated," said Dr. JoAnn Cardillo, superintendent.

The high school's ice hockey team was highlighted for winning the Big North Conference's Bronze Cup championship, defeating Ramapo in the league's final game last month. Individual sports accomplishments were also spotlighted during the evening, along with students of the month.

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Cardillo, along with board President Luke Damiano and Robert Carcich, PV athletic director, presented certificates to each team member and acknowledged Mike Sheehan, head coach.

"I would like to salute you. We are proud that you represent PV and do a great job for us," she added.

The Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove ice hockey team members honored include Nicholas Costanzo, Nicholas DeNunzio, Charles Derrot, Nicolas DiNardo, Vincent DiNardo, Sam Giuffrida, Ryan Humes, John Kavakich, Konstantine Koukounas, Joseph Kubu, Daniel Lapinski, Joseph Lombardi, Kevin Lombardi, Alexander Lopresti, Nicholas Lopresti, Joseph Maldonado, John Marousis, Kyle McCarthy, Nikola Milojevic, Shane McGuire, David Mullen, Matthew Nelson, Jack Prospero, Stefan Schimpf, Jonathan Snyder, Thomas Swinarsky, Evan Vargas, Noah Vazquez and Joseph Winkle.

Cardillo then acknowledged the ice hockey parents and welcomed their attendance.

"You faithfully go to the ice at all hours of the night. Your dedication to your children is really something to be acknowledged."

The ice hockey program is a partnership between PVHS and Cedar Grove High School.

"Many Cedar Grove parents come up to me and say they love the partnership and they're so happy to be able to work with us," she noted. "It's a unique situation that's worked out well for our program."

Boys Basketball - PV Honors

Also honored was Roberto "Tito" Ramirez, senior guard and team captain who became the sixth player in Passaic Valley boys basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, with a record win against Indian Hills last month.

"This is a very special honor for us and we're very happy for your achievement," Cardillo said. 

Wrestling - State Honors

Nicholas DeNora was also touted for placing eighth in the state for high school wrestling. Head coach Joseph Benvenuti stated that in the 55 years the team has been in existence, there has only been 17 state medalists, including DeNora.

"It makes Nick's accomplishment a tremendous feat and he joins some pretty elite company," said Benvenuti. "He works pretty hard, is a tremendous student, and really puts our program in the proper light throughout the community and we couldn't be any prouder."

Benvenuti also spoke of DeNora's resilience with a recent injury in a competition down at Atlantic City.

"He tore the tendon of his thumb and still managed to win four matches to get on the podium," added Benvenuti.

Coach of the Year

Joe Benvenuti was also recognized for his selection as Passaic County wrestling coach of the year. Cardillo commended him, along with board members.

"I can't say enough how honored I am to be your superintendent and what you bring to our school and your program," he said. "It's exactly what's necessary to grow fine, young people and I really appreciate all that you do."

Students of the Month

Students were honored in the field of music and arts. Six students we selected from two departments in the high school this month, according to Principal Raymond Rotella. The students consist of Raven Abbe, YeonJyu Kitahara, Brian Lewis, Erika Duarte, Joseph DeJesus and  Maryann Pacheco.

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