Sports

Football: Phil Simms Classic Experience is More Than Just About Winning

dc618b7637a515ee0027_IMG_3896.jpg
Westfield linebacker Jackson Simcox (No. 44) played every defensive snap for the North. Credits: Tim LeCras
f905f1f69dc3f8c44f3a_IMG_3916.jpg
Seton Hall Prep's Vincent Nisivocchia gets one final photo opp with New York Giants great Phil Simms. Nisivocchia caught a key touchdown pass late in the first half to give the North a one-point lead at halftime. Credits: Tim LeCras
3f306e2f6b58fdde42b5_IMG_3872.jpg
West Essex's Marc McDonald (No. 92) and Orange's Tyler Bryant (No. 64) watch the North's kicking unit during the second half kickoff. Credits: Tim LeCras
56fe91c055ec2cc1f47f_IMG_3905.jpg
The South team, including South Brunswick's Dante Strickland and Zane Gibson, defeated the North, 23-21, for their series leading 18th victory. Credits: Tim LeCras
ff143d4356f1765a2ce8_IMG_3904.jpg
Paterson-Eastside defensive lineman Tevaughn Grant earned the Jim Burt North Defensive MVP Award. Credits: Tim LeCras
0b4ed944c99823a88a57_IMG_3870.jpg
The North squad, which included 17 players from TAPinto.net's coverage area, get pumped up prior to the second half kickoff. Credits: Tim LeCras
dc618b7637a515ee0027_IMG_3896.jpg

UNION, NJ – Former NFL quarterback Phil Simms stood on the sideline of Kean University’s Alumni Field in awe on Monday night.

The signal-caller, whose name took ownership of the game last year, was captivated by the approximately 78 recent high school graduates playing in the premiere all-star football game New Jersey has to offer.

“High school all-star games, in many ways, almost everybody in this game is playing in college, so it's a good step towards college,” Simms said. “It's a game where no doubt the talent level is raised. They’re playing against better talent all around.”

Sign Up for E-News

New Jersey’s best graduating senior football players, selected by general managers Marion Bell III (North) and Calvin Thompson (South) and head coaches from across the state, played to a frantic finish, with the South outlasting their North counterparts, 23-21, in the 37th Annual Phil Simms North/South High School All-Star Football Classic.

Lucas Faria took the field representing Sparta High School.  Faria said, "It was definitely an awesome experience. All of the players deserved to be there. I really think that it was a collection of the best players in New Jersey."

The all-star game places former rivals on the same team.  Faria addressed this saying, " It's a little weird when you go from playing against these guys to being on the same team with them, however it was definitely a cool change."

Despite the strong competition on the field, to many of the game’s participants, the game was less about the final outcome and more about the overall experience.

“I think the best part about this is validating that I belong on this level and I can play with the best of the best,” Westfield linebacker Jackson Simcox said. “Playing during high school, some people doubted me, but I showed here that I proved it. It means a lot.”

Many of the other 77 players shared the same mindset, using the game as a way to gauge their talent-level while going up against the best-of-the best. To Simms, this thought is what drives the game to be as good as it is.

“They want to know how they measure up,” Simms said. “There is not one kid out there tonight that has not dreamed about playing college football and playing well. Look, we all know, many of them are thinking ‘Its going to fall and I’m going to play in the pros one day.’ It wouldn’t shock me.”

The other major mindset coming out was the honor of playing in the game to begin to with.

Sparta's Faria agreed. "Overall, it was just a great honor to be considered among such talented players and get to play in such a prestigious game."

Randolph offensive lineman David Vargas said the best part was “making new family and friends.”

“It means a lot,” Vargas said. “Its great. I’m really happy that my coach nominated me to play in this game. I did the best I could and just played the way I’ve always played.”

For Vincent Nisivocchia, who made a touchdown catch reminiscing an end zone fade to Odell Beckham Jr, his road to the Phil Simms North/South Classic was different than many others. Not only was he representing his high school, Seton Hall Prep, but also his hometown of Nutley. 

“Its an amazing feeling,” Just being able to represent everyone I know from Nutley, then all the people at Seton Hall Prep who helped me throughout high school, whether its [President] Msgr. [Michael] Kelly, Coach [John]Finnigan, all of them. I’m happy I can rep everyone.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Police: Traffic Stop Yields Pile of Tickets and Active Warrants

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Newton woman, pulled over for a broken tail light on her black Kia ended up in custody.  On February 16 around 12:50 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd stopped Meagan Klein, 44, on Route 15, police report.

Herd also found the car’s registration was expired.  The car was not insured and Klein’s license was suspended.  The passenger, ...

First Hand Account: Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Sparta Police: Double Vodka Before Driving Earns a DWI

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to help a Branchville woman who appeared to have broken down at the side of the road.  Sparta Police Officer Brian Perter and Arlene Lippencott went to see Wynter Garrett on the side of the road on Route 15, police report.

On February 15 around 11:30 p.m. the officers found Garrett standing outside her car because she said her windshield wiper ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

The Prudential Center, Newark

Sparta Education Foundation Night Out with the NJ ...

Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_2f5911ae032b7193cdd2_girlscout_logo

Tue, February 27, 6:30 PM

Sparta United Methodist Church, Sparta

Girl Scout STEAM Program

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_54f5549c693ec0512950_thedrowsychaperone_flyer

Fri, March 2, 7:00 PM

Wallkill Valley Regional High School, Hamburg

The Drowsy Chaperone

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_563fe88c2c7424a0dce9_newton_rotary

Sat, March 3, 7:00 AM

First United Methodist Church, Newton

Newton Rotary Pancake Breakfast

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_54f5549c693ec0512950_thedrowsychaperone_flyer

Sat, March 3, 7:00 PM

Wallkill Valley Regional High School, Hamburg

The Drowsy Chaperone

Arts & Entertainment

Paterson's Poet Laureate

February 13, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- The City of Paterson has given birth to famous athletes, business leaders, actors, and now, a poet laureate.

Born and raised in Paterson, Talena Lachelle Queen told TAPinto Paterson that she has been writing since she was five-years old, and, as she grew older, realized that when it came to pursuing studies and a career in writing, she “didn’t have a choice.” ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling in NJ

Team Nest Builder knows that whether you are buying or selling a New Jersey home it can be quite the adventure, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. But in this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ...

Does Marriage or Mortgage Come First?

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. Team Nest Builder knows it's no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more ...

Height during childhood associated with increased stroke risk in adulthood

Researchers in Denmark studied the health records of more than 300,000 people born between 1930 and 1989 and found that those who were shorter than average height between ages 7 and 13 had a greater risk of stroke as adults. The results of this study were published in the February 15, 2018 issue of the journal Stroke.

Summary: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320922.php

Journal ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders February 14 2018 Meeting Video

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders February 14 2018 Meeting Video 

 

Sparta High School Book Drive for Reach Out and Read

February 21, 2018

Sparta High School is holding a Children's book drive. All books collected will be donated to Reach Out and Read, an organization which donates books to pediatricians who give the books to patients who cannot afford them.

Drop off boxes can be found in the Sparta High School Media Center from Wednesday 2/21 to Monday 2/26.