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April 10, 2014


(Newark, NJ) – During its Wednesday, April 9, 2014, meeting at the Hall of Records, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the Newark Tech Boys Basketball Team for winning the 2014 Group 2 State Championship.  The Board’s commendation was sponsored by acclamation and presented to the team by Freeholder President Blonnie Watson and Freeholders Rolando Bobadilla of Newark, Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold of Livingston, Freeholder Carol Clark of East Orange, and Freeholder Leonard Luciano of West Caldwell.

Members of the N. J. Group 2 State Champion Newark Tech Boys Basketball Team were honored by the Board during its April 9th meeting at the Hall of Records.  The players are pictured above with Freeholders Blonnie Watson, Patricia Sebold, Rolando Bobadilla, Carol Clark and Leonard Luciano; coaches Joe Jordan, Richard Woods and Robert Coles; and Superintendent Dr. Frank Cocchiola, Jr., Business Administrator Anthony Abaleo, Vice Principal Ayisha Ingram-Robinson and Athletic Advisor Jerry Barker.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Freeholder Vice President Sebold spoke about her strong connection to the Essex County Vocational Schools as a member of its Board of Education for six years, and as a current member of the Board of School Estimate.  “This has been a very good year for high school basketball in Essex County”, she said, “because we have three state champions”, referring to the Shabazz girls and East Side boys teams, “but tonight’s state champions are truly special to this freeholder board, because you are our team from just across the street… you are part of our Essex County Vo-Tech family, and we are as proud as we can be, and for the second year in a row, I might add”, said Sebold.

Vocational Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Cocchiola, Jr., thanked the Board for recognizing the team and congratulated the coaches and players saying, “as a former high school basketball player and coach, although without anywhere near this level of success, as well as a high school principal, I can tell you that a championship like this energizes everyone in the building, students and the staff, and I congratulate you because this is your year.”

Newark Tech Vice Principal Ayisha Ingram-Robinson congratulated the team, saying, “You worked hard throughout the year, I know you will continue to excel athletically and academically, and I thank you for representing Newark Tech so well.”

Speaking on behalf of his teammates, senior captain Tyree Sykes “we are more than a team… we’re more like a family, and we’ve treated each other like brothers.”  He went on to say, “It’s more than just basketball, it’s also about academics, and we picked each other up and now everyone is on the Honor Roll.”

“There is something to be said for all of you as a ‘band of brothers’”, said Freeholder Clark.  “You’re representing Essex County, yourselves and your families so well, and you’ve brought a lot of pride to this Board of Freeholders”. 

The Newark Tech Boys Basketball Team won the 2014 Group 2 State Championship when it defeated Camden H.S, 48-44, at the Rutgers Athletic Center on March 16, 2014.  In the state tournament, the team first defeated Lincoln H.S. (80-37), Ridgefield Park H.S. (73-50), Newark West Side H.S. (84-63), and then Newark Central H.S. (63-62) to win the North Jersey Section 2, Group 2 Sectional Championship for the second consecutive year.  The team then went on to defeat Pascack Hills H.S. (61-56) and then Camden H.S. to capture its second consecutive Group 2 State Championship, and the third in school history.  As state champions, the team earned the right to compete in the prestigious Tournament of Champions, where they fell to Roselle Catholic High School in a hard-fought game

The Terriers finished their season with an overall record of 20-12, and ranked by The Star-Ledger as the #1 Group 2 team in New Jersey and the #4 team in Essex County.  The team was further recognized by honors bestowed upon three of its members: Tyree Sykes was named to the 1st Team All-Group 2 and All- Essex County, as well as the 1st Team All-Newark; Mustafa Lawrence was named to the 2nd Team All-Group 2, 3rd Team All-Freshmen/Sophomore, 3rd Team All-Essex County and 2nd Team All-Newark; and RJ Cole was named to the 3rd Team All-Freshman/Sophomore and 2nd Team All-Newark.

The team was comprised of: seniors Tyree Sykes, Junior Michaud, Dino Boyd, Sherllon Labato and Al-Tariq Halsey; juniors Jurod Page, CJ Webb, Samuel Tait, Walker Wilson, Benjamin Sar and Jordan Zagadou; sophomore Mustafa Lawrence; and freshmen RJ Cole and Adonis Ridley.  The team managers were Julia Barton, Jamanii McCreary, Ny’ae McMillan and Shadae Smith.  They were coached by Head Coach Joe Jordan, assistant coaches Richard Woods and George Benton, and JV Coach Robert Cole.


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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders




Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695