Force-feeding Bruins against Red Wings; Memorial harriers solid

The Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, the predominant governing body for high school athletics in the county, has really gone beyond its means recently by issuing an ultimatum, trying to force North Bergen to face Hoboken in a football game this fall.

Now, I can fully well understand trying to assure competition, especially within the league. But you cannot force a Group II team like Hoboken to play a Group IV team. Better yet, you can’t force anyone to play someone without a constitutional clause that has a provision for mandatory crossover games.

The "mandatory crossover" games, meaning a team from the bigger National Conference facing a team from the smaller school American Conference, went out the window a few years ago, when the HCIAA signed the agreement to face the teams from the Watchung Conference.

Since that working agreement between the two leagues went by the wayside this fall, teams from the HCIAA have once again been scrambling to pick up non-conference games. That’s how Hoboken got John Adams of New York, North Bergen got August Martin of New York and St. Peter’s Prep got Gulliver Prep of Miami.

So, in the context of "fair competition," do the members of the league actually think that they can force North Bergen to play Hoboken? And if they don’t play, then the league threatens to strip any conference championship either team may achieve?

What is this, the Soviet Union? Instead of HCIAA, maybe the league should change its call letters to CCCP.

And why did the league come up with Hoboken and North Bergen? Because they just happen to always be two of the better teams in the league? It sure seems that way. I don’t see any plans to force Snyder to face Hudson Catholic.

It’s not like the two teams have been ducking each other in recent years. In fact, Hoboken and North Bergen just completed a two-year home-and-home series, with both games obviously won by Hoboken, considering the Red Wings haven’t lost a game to a Hudson County team since 1994.

If there was a mandatory crossover rule, then I could understand the decision to force the game. But with no rule or legislation in place, the HCIAA simply cannot make a team play another. It makes no sense whatsoever.

And if the ruling does come down, then I wouldn’t blame either Vinnie Ascolese of North Bergen or Ed Stinson of Hoboken if they sent an appeal of the decision to the NJSIAA. It’s a decision that most definitely would be overturned, even if the NJSIAA usually allows the respective leagues of the state to rule themselves.

The administrators of the HCIAA better stop and take a better look at the entire situation before trying to force feed this ridiculous stance.

And one last thing: Doesn’t this absurdity give the radical realignment proposal even more credence locally? Sure looks that way…

The Memorial boys’ cross-country team made a statement and a half last weekend, when the Tigers went to the Passaic County Coaches Invitational meet at Garret Mountain Park and came away with top team honors among the Group IV schools.

The Tigers easily distanced the field, besting runner-up Middletown South by some 67 points. Senior William Cannon paced the Tigers’ attack, by winning the Group IV individual title in a very respectable 16:48.57. Teammate Anderson Tejada was fourth, followed by Luis Ortiz (fifth), Luis Capelan (12th) and Bruce Siera (13th).

Future performances like this will make head coach Julio Lopez’ prediction of a state championship come true…

The boys’ soccer program at St. Joseph of the Palisades is only in its third year of existence, but the Blue Jays have won their first three games of the season. Michael Diboty has been the key performer for the Blue Jays, collecting the three-goal hat trick in each of the last two games…

Some high school grid observations:

When he was asked how his team was able to get off four offensive plays in the final 20 seconds of the game last Saturday against Wood-Ridge, the last of which resulted in eight-yard TD pass from Bobby Dornan to Justin Jinorio, Secaucus head coach Charlie Voorhees honestly responded: "I don’t know."

"I really don’t know what happened in those last seconds," Voorhees admitted. "It was amazing. We got some help."

The help came in the form of a pass interference call that stopped the clock and enabled the Patriots an opportunity for one more play, which became the game-winning touchdown in the 12-7 victory.

Talk about clutch. If the Patriots lose, they’re 0-2 and could realistically kiss their Group I playoff chances goodbye. They get a second break and now they’re 1-1 and with life…

Also clutch was the performance of Weehawken’s Nadyr Albri, who rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Indians to an equally crucial 19-13 victory over St. Mary’s of Rutherford. A loss would have shot down all of the post-season hopes and dreams of the Indians in just the second week of the season.

Weehawken also received a great defensive performance from defensive back Peter Martinez, who collected 11 tackles and a fumble recovery…

It was supposed to be a solid year for New Jersey City University, but after getting drubbed by Rowan 42-18 a week after getting housed by Western Connecticut 35-0, the Gothic Knights are 1-3 and facing another season of oblivion. You have to begin to wonder how much more the powers-that-be at NJCU will endure with Roy Miller as the head coach. This seemed to be a make-or-break season and right now, it looks more like a break …


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