Salinardi twins to Rutgers; Ferrine to ND; Salim to Maine

As the date draws near in which high school football players can sign their respective letters of intent with the colleges of their choice, several local grid products announced their college intentions last week.

First, the talented Salinardi twins of Hudson Catholic, namely linemen Darren and Joe, have decided to remain as a tandem and will head to Rutgers together and join the Scarlet Knights.

The Salinardi brothers, both of whom were members of the Hudson Reporter All-Area team in the fall, were considering offers from several schools before deciding to join forces with coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers, joining other standout New Jersey gridders as Mike Teel from Don Bosco Prep and Jean Beljour of Hackensack.

Next, St. Peter’s Prep’s talented receiver/defensive back Leo Ferrine has decided to head to South Bend and the University of Notre Dame.

According to his coach, Rich Hansen, Ferrine went on his official visit to the school last weekend and was blown away by the campus and the aura that is Notre Dame. The visit came on the heels of a personal visit to Prep last week by Fighting Irish head coach Tyrone Willingham.

“Leo first went to the Notre Dame camp last summer and had a good camp there,” Hansen said. “So Notre Dame was always going to be one his official visits. Coach Willingham came to school last week and spent about two hours with Leo. As you know, he’s a pretty impressive guy. That pretty much sealed the deal, but Leo still wanted to go on the visit. I think it was just a matter of having a good visit there.”

Hansen said that Ferrine spent the weekend with Irish linebacker Brandon Hoyte, who was a fine football player in high school at Sayreville.

“Leo wanted to commit right away after coming home,” Hansen said. “That’s how impressed he was. He really believes he has a chance to play pretty soon. I think there’s the tradition factor involved, because after all, Notre Dame is still Notre Dame. That’s the bottom line. When it’s all said and done, he’s going to graduate with a very impressive piece of paper in his hand.”

Namely, a Notre Dame degree, which is generally priceless.

Finally, there’s Nabil Salim, the talented Emerson lineman who is playing follow the leader a bit by announcing his intentions to join former teammates Joan “J.Q.” Quezada and Manauris Arias at the University of Maine.

Salim, a native of Cuba who just learned about the game of football when he arrived in the United States four years ago, developed into a fine two-way lineman and also earned All-Area honors like the Salinardi brothers and Ferrine.

“He made his decision after his official visit last week,” Emerson head coach Eddie Marinez said. “Maine has been very good to us. We can’t say ‘No’ to Maine. Between our three kids, we’ll now have received about $500,000 in scholarships from Maine.”

Salim joins Quezada and Arias, who were the starting safeties for the Black Bears last season.

All of the local products can sign their collegiate letters of intent beginning Wednesday. Some of the schools have scheduled press gatherings for the event. We’ll have more next week…

It’s almost gone unnoticed, but the St. Peter’s College men’s basketball team owns an impressive 11-6 record overall and 5-1 in the MAAC. The Peacocks are definitely for real. Considering that they won exactly 18 games in coach Bob Leckie’s three previous seasons, this has definitely been a dramatic turnaround.

There’s no question that sensational guard Keydren “Keekee” Clark is the main reason for the team’s surge. Clark averaged 24.9 points per game last year as a freshman and the thought was that he would slack off a little this year because he had more talented players surrounding him. However, Clark has actually improved, scoring at a 27.3 point-per-game clip…

While SPC has to be enjoying its basketball season, the school’s soccer team was dealt a serious blow when head soccer coach Cesar Markovic resigned to take over the head coaching position at the University of Stony Brook.

Markovic guided the Peacocks to an 18-5-2 record last year, including the first MAAC Championship in the school’s history. The Peacocks also became the first St. Peter’s team to ever win a game in the NCAA Tournament by defeating Brown in the first round of the tourney, before eventually falling to Michigan. Losing Markovic is a huge blow, but he leaves the program in good condition…

Marist High School has decided not to renew the contract of football coach/athletic director Kevin Batty. The school has already begun preliminary inquiries into a replacement for Batty, who has been at Marist for the last six years… — Jim Hague


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