Sports

Panther Athlete of the Week: Rianna Marinelli

e7d5e533b15f04bef83f__M2A9561.jpg
Credits: John Kennedy
7bfff86356f020054ae4__M2A9703.jpg
Credits: John Kennedy
f7b02531503258dba197__DM38354.jpg
Credits: John Kennedy
68ce3e5148216fe02981__M2A9560.jpg
Credits: John Kennedy
e7d5e533b15f04bef83f__M2A9561.jpg

CEDAR GROVE, NJ – She was a key part of last year’s State Championship team and hopes to repeat the feat this year.  She leads her team in hits and runs and is a defensive force at centerfield.  Rianna Marinelli is our TAP into Verona/Cedar Grove Panther Athlete of the Week.

“It feels great to have my hard work be recognized,” Marinelli said of her Athlete of the Week nomination.  “I work very hard at softball.   I play during the off season and I workout during the winter.”

Her hard work clearly pays off as she is currently batting .368, leading  her team in hits (21) and tied for the most runs scored (15).  The Panthers are currently 11-9 for the season and just defeated Millburn 4-0 in the first round of the Essex County Tournament on Saturday with Marinelli going 2-for-3.  However, she said the highlight of the season so far was defeating Verona in the “Lace Up for Pediatric Cancer” charity game on April 21.

Sign Up for E-News

“Beating Verona under the lights was a highlight because it was a very neck-in-neck game going into extra innings and we ended up pulling off the win,”she said.  “Plus it was all for a good cause.”

Marinelli acknowledged her team faces challenges this year after losing several key seniors last year.  “We had a lot of spaces and gaps to fill because we lost Erin Stacevicz at short stop, but Kailey Weinstein is there at second now doing a great job,” she noted. “And we had openings at catcher and left field, but everyone has stepped up and is doing what they need to do for the team.”

The Panthers have also been adjusting to a new head coach in Nicole Velardi.  “I love her.  She’s really good and she’s young so we can relate to her,” Marinelli said.  “She works us hard.  She’s played softball her whole life so she knows a lot about the game.”

On the immediate horizon for the Panthers is the Essex County Tournament.  After defeating Millburn, No. 6 Cedar Grove will take on No. 3 Nutley in the quarterfinals.  “A county title would be great to take too and we will see some tough competition like the Mount, West Essex and Nutley,” Marinelli explained.  “If we play hard, we can do well.”

Looking ahead, Marinelli said she feels the pressure of their state championship title.  “A state title is a lot to live up to, but I think going back-to-back is something to strive for and is attainable if we work hard,” she noted.  “My personal challenge is to try and repeat and to keep motivated and keep the team pumped so we can play as well as we did last year.”

Editor's Note: The "Athlete of the Week" is a weekly reoccurring feature story that highlights an individual student-athlete's success. The Cedar Grove High School Athlete of the Week is selected with the assistance of the school's athletic director and coaching staff.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Parsippany septuagenarian becomes NJIT's oldest engineering grad

May 23, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - It was about five minutes after Robert Dresnack’s Water Resources Engineering class had begun when a septuagenarian poked his head into the room at NJIT. Puzzled, the professor inquired, “May I help you?”

In fact, he could. “I’m a student in this class,” replied Chris Antholis, then 72, who was six years into his quest to earn a Bachelor of ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

May 21, 2018

May 14, 2018 – May 20, 2018

On May 14, 2018 at 5:57 p.m., Ptl. Michael Passafiume stopped a vehicle without a front license plate and tinted windows. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the 36 year old male driver from Paterson for driving with a suspended license. He was processed and released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

On May 15, 2018 at 8:31 a.m., Ptl.

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Music Under the June Moon Outdoor Concert in Anderson Park

May 28, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Enjoy a magical evening of moonlight and music in Anderson Park in Montclair on Saturday, June 9, with the third annual "Music Under the June Moon" chamber music concert.

Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy the Chamber Music Society of North Jersey playing under the park's historic Olmsted Oak. This free concert begins at 8 ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...