Football in Warren: Pop Warner Pee Wees Defeat North Rockland to Advance to Eastern Region Pop Warner Finals


WARREN, NJ - Another convincing playoff victory on Sunday has the Watchung Hills Pop Warner Pee Wee team on the Disney threshold yet again. 


With the win today vs. North Rockland, 30-13, the Pee Wee team advances to the Eastern Region Finals for the third consecutive season. Last year, the team competed at the Junior Pee Wee level and lost in the finals. In 2014, also at Jr Pee Wee, the boys beat Lenape Valley, PA to earn a trip to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida.


In an Eastern Region semi-final game today, the Watchung Hills Wolverines crushed North Rockland, NY 30-13 to improve to 9-1 on the season. The team is now 34-3 over their 3-year run and during the 2016 campaign has outscored all opponents 253-52. Game captains were Sherrod Hudson, Dylan Braunstein, Jake Memoli, Jake Checchio and David Labib. 

Sign Up for E-News


Early in the first period, both teams traded field position and advanced the ball judiciously; but neither team could mount a serious drive. Billy Black, Jamarques Lawrence and Sherrod Hudson all had nice carries early on. It wasn’t until late in the first quarter, however, that James Palaia ripped off a long touchdown run keyed by blocks from Ellis Wilson and Mac McAteer. The conversion attempt failed but Watchung led 6-0.


As the first quarter ended, North Rockland tried a fake punt. The surprise play was squashed by the Wolverine defense and Watchung took over with good field positon. During the defensive series, James Carbone contributed a tackle along the line of scrimmage. On the offensive side of the ball, Dylan Simon and ‘Bob’ Dylan Braunstein both down-blocked very well creating big running lanes for the Wolverines. Next, the Wolverines mounted a nice drive which was culminated by a smooth pass play from quarterback, Ty Marion, to tight end, McAteer whose reception made it 12-0 Wolverines. William Grabko executed the 2-point kick giving the home team a 14-0 cushion. 


North Rockland responded with a good drive and touchdown pass of their own cutting the deficit to 14-7. Wilson recovered the subsequent on-sides kick and Watchung took over with 3:52 to go in the half. The Wolverine passing game was sharp today. Marion found Hudson for a good catch and run before the Wolverines went to a little razzle-dazzle. Jamarques Lawrence ran a reverse but had the option to keep it or pass. Again McAteer was behind the defense and Lawrence found him for another touchdown pass. McAteer’s catch and Grabko’s kick boosted the Wolverine halftime lead to 22-7. In the second quarter, strong tackles were made by Nasir Maryland and Black.


In the third quarter, North Rockland had their initial drive thwarted when Maryland & Black had another combo-quarterback sack. Hudson made multiple tackles in the period while King, McAteer, and Palaia were involved defensively as well. The Wolverines took over and executed another solid drive featuring a couple runs by Black. They put up another touchdown, and finalized the drive with another 2-point kick. Palaia’s second TD run sprung by Jake Memoli’s key block, and Grabko’s third straight successful conversion made it 30-7 in favor of the Wolverines.


As the third quarter came to a close, the Watchung Hills defense was locking down again. Kaden Everly pressured the quarterback multiple times while cornerbacks John King and Anthony Bateh were protecting their respective sides of the field.  The dangerous North Rockland passing game did complete a few plays; but overall, the Watchung defense held this high-powered team in check. 


In the fourth period of play, Watchung Hills failed to advance the ball and North Rockland mounted a strong drive. The resilient New York team showed no quit as they scored on a touchdown run mid-way fourth quarter. Hudson blocked the extra point kick leaving the score at 30-13 with a few minutes left to play. The Wolverines took over on offense and this time gained yardage with relative ease. Several first downs put Watchung in position to score again but the team elected to ‘take a knee’ and let the last minute of the game clock expire. 


With the win, the Pee Wee team advances to the Eastern Region Finals for the third consecutive year. Progressing this far in a season is a major accomplishment. The Pee Wee team (ages 12 & 11) is the last Watchung Hills Pop Warner team still alive as the Junior Pee Wees (ages 11 & 10) and Junior Varsity (ages 13 & 12) squads unfortunately lost their games last weekend in the second round. Nonetheless, congratulations are in order for their fantastic seasons. Junior Pee Wee finished the year 9-1 while the Junior Varsity squad completed the season 7-3. 


The Pee Wee team has its sights set on a return trip to Disney World and the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida next month. Games are played December 3-10, 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. The team is now one win away from that achievement and no team in the 36 year history of Watchung Hills Pop Warner has made more than one appearance in Florida. The 2014 team won the Eastern Regional, won a game in Disney, and was a National Semi-Finalist that year at the Junior Pee Wee level. 


The Eastern Region Championship game will be played on Friday, November 25 at 11:00 a.m. in Marsh Creek, Pennsylvania. The Watchung Hills Wolverines will face the winner of the other semi-final game featuring the Irondequoit Lancers from Rochester, NY versus perennial Pop Warner power Pennsylvania’s Lenape Valley. In fact, it was Lenape Valley that Watchung beat in the 2014 championship game to earn their first trip to Disney.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Offering July Adoption Promotion for Cats/Kittens

July 10, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, in Bridgewater, is urgently looking for homes for its cats and kittens.

According to a release from the shelter, the population surges throughout the summer during kitten breeding season, and so the shelter is launching a special promotion to help increase cat and kitten adoptions. During the month of July, all cats and kittens that over ...

Do You Recognize These Dogs?

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Two dogs were found in Plainfield near the fire station on Central Avenue on Saturday. 

The dogs are currently with a family in South Plainfield.  If you recognize the dogs, please email TAPinto Plainfield at

A Hidden Gem in the Suburbs – Spring Academy Montessori Pre-School helps children reach their full potential by fostering an innate love of learning!

July 16, 2018

Located on a quiet residential street in Warren, NJ, Spring Academy Montessori Preschool opened its doors to the public in late November 2016.  Spring Academy wanted to fill a niche that was missing in the community -- a pre-school with a Montessori philosophy combined with an emphasis on language immersion.  Since then, parents have been coming from all over to enroll their children in ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, October 3, 7:00 PM

SCLSNJ's Warren Township Library branch, Warren

A History of the Old Presbyterian Graveyard in ...

Government Other


Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Get Ready Warren: Fireworks, Food and Family Fun At Mt. Carmel Feast

July 13, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. – It’s time again for the annual Mt. Carmel Feast, a four-day festival full of food, music, games, rides, fireworks, and other family fun, located at Mt. Carmel Field in Berkeley Heights.

The fairgrounds will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 13 through Monday, July 16. Those four nights will include concerts, games, and ...

Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Offering July Adoption Promotion for Cats/Kittens

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, in Bridgewater, is urgently looking for homes for its cats and kittens.

According to a release from the shelter, the population surges throughout the summer during kitten breeding season, and so the shelter is launching a special promotion to help increase cat and kitten adoptions. During the month of July, all cats and kittens that over ...

A Guide to July 4: Fourth of July Fun Facts, a Video and Where to Find Independence Day Celebrations, Fireworks Displays

WARREN, NJ -  Independence Day 2018. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson penned words based on what he learned as a student of the enlightenment.  John Locke’s writings were ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Viewing and Funeral Mass Set for 1-Year-Old Boy Killed in July 7 Crash, Fundraiser Established

July 16, 2018

RARITAN, NJ - A viewing for the 1-year-old Raritan boy killed on Anderson Street July 7 will be held this week at St. Ann Church in Raritan, according to an obituary released by the Bongiovi Funeral Home.

Matias Ortega-Rosales was killed on the evening of his first birthday when a vehicle hit two cars and then his family as he was being pushed in a stroller by his mother, Domitila Rosales.

Bedminster Woman Dies From Injuries After Being Struck by Car in Mall Parking Lot

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after being struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...

County Kicks Off Summer Concert Series with Bob Miranda and the Happenings

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Park Commission kicked off its Summer Concert Series at Duke Island Park Sunday with a performance by Bob Miranda and the Happenings.

A very large crowd turned out for the performance by the band made famous in part by the song "See You in September."

The next concert will be held July 15 at 7 p.m. at Duke Island Park, with Billy ...

Somerset County Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Grace Gurisic, First Woman Freeholder

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County will fly its flags at half-staff July 12 in memory of Grace A. Gurisic, who served as the county’s first woman freeholder more than half a century ago.

Gurisic passed away June 9; she was 84. Funeral services will be held 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 12, from the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home in Wayne. A funeral mass will follow at St.

3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ set to Celebrate Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

Exchange Place and WTC PATH Stations to Close For Weekend Track Maintenance

JERSEY CITY, NJ - At least they waited until after the Fourth of July fireworks were over before starting.  

PATH stations at Exchange Place and the World Trade Center (WTC) will close at 11:59 p.m. this Friday, July 6, and remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, July 9, to allow crews to transition to a new signal system being installed as part of the ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 10, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...