It was a great year for sports at Montclair High School. Check out some of the highlights as we close out 2017.
Winter 2016-’17 Sports
Girls’ Winter Track
The Mounties began their dominant run in 2017 as the Super Essex Conference American Division Champions, the Essex County Champions and the Essex County Relay Champions.
At the Essex County Relay Championship, the Mounties’ 1600-meter relay team and sprint medley won first place with times of 4:07.98 and 4:19.39, respectively. The shot put team took first with a distance of 69’-0.25’’ and the 3200-meter relay and distance medley earned second.
The Montclair girls’ epee squad won 44 bouts to claim their second-straight NSIAA State Tournament Championship title.
Rachel Paroff led the Mounties with a 20-2 record on the season as Amina Troupe went 17-1 and Alexandra Greengrass was 13-2.
The wrestling team finished with a dominant 13-5 team record, placing second in the SEC American Division Conference.
Mounties junior Jacy Jones became the Essex County Champion at 106-pounds while senior Sam Mellow earned the title at 220-pounds.
Mellow and teammate Kasson Quince McGee advanced to the NJSIAA Tournament in Atlantic City where Mellow finished Top 12 in the state.
The boys’ tennis team enjoyed an impressive 20-5 season where they achieved several firsts for the program. It was the first time the program has made it to the Essex County Tournament finals and the NJSIAA North 1, Group 4 Tournament finals, in which they placed second in each.
The No. 12 Mounties pulled off a huge upset during their 2016-17 season when they edged out No. 1 Newark Academy, 3-2, on April 5.
The win gave the Mounties their first-ever tie with the Minutemen as the winners of the Super Essex Conference.
Montclair also beat state powerhouses Milburn and Livingston for the first time, with 3-2 triumphs over both.
The Mounties were led by No. 1 singles sophomore Leo Kupferman who made it to the round of 16 at the NJSIAA State Singles Tournament.
Spring 2017 Sports
The Men’s Varsity First Eight team made history in 2017 becoming the Scholastic U.S. National Champions and the National Scholastic Rowing Association National Champions, while going undefeated in the USA.
The Women’s Varsity First Eight had also highlighted a valiant seventh place finish at Nationals.
The Mounties became the first public school in 22 years to win both the boys and girls State Cup points trophies and have both teams become state champions.
They dominated all season long, as the long the Montclair Senior Boys Eight stunned their competition, ending a five-year winning streak by Gonzaga at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta on May, 20 on the Schuylkill River – the program’s first-ever in the that category.
Girls’ Spring Track & Field
The girls’ track and field team capped off a dominant season with the 2017 Essex County Championship Title on May 20.
Junior Shelby Bigsby led the team to victory with a stunning record-breaking distance of 45-09 in the shotput. Bigsby closed out the season as the SEC American Division, Essex County, and State Sectional Champion. She also took second place at the State Group Championships and third at the Meet of Champions.
Other individual titles came from Meghan Hessler who became the SEC American Division champion in the 1600-meters, Elizabeth Cummings, the SEC American Division 800-meter champion and Matilda Ferguson who won the SEC American Division 3200-meter championship race.
Sophomore standout sprinter Nyjah Young-Bey placed second in the county in the 400-meter dash, being edged by West Essex’s Reanda Richards by .01 seconds. Young-Bey’s 55.93 run earned her a MileSplit Us First Team accolade.
The Girls’ Lacrosse team had a successful 11-8 showing during their 2017 season and claimed a second place finish in the Essex County Tournament.
The Mounties saw two huge milestones as junior and Lehigh commit Nora Giordano scored her 100th goal on her 17th birthday on April 19. Senior captain and midfielder Jillian Jennings followed with the same milestone on May 4.
The baseball team didn’t finish where they would’ve like during the 2017 season but ultimately had a few very memorable victories.
The Mounties took down two state-ranked teams, beating Milburn, 7-4, on April 5 and Bayonne, 10-7, on May 4. They also enjoyed two Greater Newark Tournament wins against Bloomfield (4-1) and Livingston (6-1), to advance to the semifinals. Montclair put up a huge performance against No. 1 Seton Hall Prep, outhitting the Pirates, 5-4, but eventually fell to a 1-0 decision.
Fall 2017 Sports
The Montclair Mounties completed a perfect 12-0 season after winning the North 1, Group 5 NJSIAA Championship game over Union City, 35-14, at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 1.
Just 13 seconds into the game, senior running back and West Point commit Daniel Webb returned the opening kick for 92 yards for a touchdown to spark the Mounties offense.
The victory was the program’s eighth state championship title as Webb capped off his high school career as the All-Time leader for career touchdowns in Essex County with 72.
The No. 13 ranked Mounties enjoyed one of their most successful seasons as of late, grabbing a stellar second place in the NJSIAA N1, G4 final in which they ultimately fell to No. 3 Kearny in penalty kicks.
The squad also earned a second place finish in the Super Essex Conference American Division while finishing the season with an outstanding 14-2-2 record.
The girls’ soccer team won the Super Essex Conference American Division Championship after going an undefeated 7-0 in the conference. The Mounties earned the No. 2 seed in the Essex County Tournament and a second round NJSIAA N1, G4 appearance.
Boys’ Cross Country
The boys’ cross country team had one of their seasons to date, becoming the Super Essex Conference American Division Champions and earning second at the Essex County Championships.
The squad also finished second at the State Sectional Championships, which goes down as the best finish for the team to date. The Mounties were led by Stefan Urquidi who finished the 5,000-meter race in fourth place at 16:24 while his brother Sebastian and Dale Ross finished in the top 15.
Girls’ Cross Country
Meghan Hessler was the SEC American Division Champion, leading her team to a second place finish at the meet. The Mounties also finished second at the Essex County Championships where Hessler grabbed second place at 18:49.6.
The women’s volleyball team made program history, earning a No. 7 seed in the Essex County Tournament, one of, if not the highest, county seed the program has ever received. The Mounties finished with a winning 15-9 season and runs in the ECT and NSIAA State Tournaments.
Senior middle hitter Annura Hamilton completed the season with a team-high 135 kills, accumulating 359 kills over her varsity career as classmate Ariana Martinez knocked 158 service points and Ciarah Minnig recorded 40 aces in the season.
Despite losing a dominant senior class, the field hockey team remained competitive during the 2017 season, advancing to the NJSIAA N1, G4 State Tournament semifinal round and finishing with an 11-7-3 record.
The Mounties’ season showcased a memorable 1-0 win over No. 6 seeded Ridge High School in the N1, G4 quarterfinal round to advance in the tournament. Fiona Campbell scored the lone goal in the contest on a penalty stroke and goalie Anjali Abram made 11 saves.
The girls’ gymnastics squad qualified for the State Sectionals for the fourth consecutive year and finished with a winning 8-4 record.
Victoria De La Rosa recorded team-highs in both the vault and uneven bars with scores of 905 and 9.125, respectively. On the balance beam, Naja John topped the Mounties in the season with a score of 9.15.