Students at Jersey City’s Middle School No. 7 were treated to a special visitor Tuesday morning, when former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand came to the school to talk to the students.
The school’s physical education teacher, Alan Gross, reached out to LeGrand on a whim to see if LeGrand, the inspirational Scarlet Knight who was paralyzed after breaking his neck in a game last season, would come and speak to the school’s students. Incredibly, LeGrand agreed.
“It was great,” said LeGrand, who later that night attended the USA-Ecuador soccer game at Red Bull Arena and got to meet several of the Team USA players. “If I can inspire them, tell them to go to school, then that’s great. It was great to see them hanging on every word I said, listening to every single word. I mean, you could hear a pin drop when I spoke.”
Added LeGrand, “Most times, kids at that age don’t pay attention. But that wasn’t the case with these great kids from Jersey City.”
LeGrand said that he was moved and touched by the hundreds of cards and posters that the students created in anticipation of his visit.
“The art work, the posters, that meant so much to me,” LeGrand said. “They did a great job. They were able to express themselves.”
Since the tragic play took place in MetLife Stadium last October, LeGrand has been working hard in his rehabilitation, trying to eventually walk once again.
“I will walk again,” LeGrand told the students. “And when I do, there’s going to be one gigantic party in New Jersey.”
Recently, LeGrand has been doing analysis and interviews on the Rutgers football network, so maybe broadcasting is in the future for the affable young man, who has never once felt sorry for himself.
“I just wanted to show the kids that I’m still myself,” said LeGrand, who grew up in Colonia and played high school football there. “I love talking to kids and telling them my story. Maybe there’s a future there for me in motivational speaking.”
Whatever the case, Eric LeGrand has become a hero to thousands of people throughout the country – and now, a group of Jersey City middle school students got to see how special he is first hand…
Legendary St. Anthony basketball coach Bob Hurley is a candidate for another prestigious honor. He’s one of the finalists for induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Hurley, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year, has been inducted into several Halls of Fame in the past, is one of 10 finalists in the sports category for the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
The other finalists include former Giants Super Bowl head coach Bill Parcells, television analyst and former coach Dick Vitale, Olympians Mary Decker Slaney and Milt Campbell, women’s basketball legend Carol Blazejowski, NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, former Giants and Rams football great Rosie Grier, baseball legend Monte Irvin, and Wellington Mara, the late owner of the New York Giants.
That’s some impressive group that Hurley is considered with. He is already a member of the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame and his plaque appears in the main lobby of the IZOD Center…
Once again there were some impressive performances on the Hudson County gridiron last week, with Memorial’s Chris Gomez leading the way, rushing for 209 yards and scoring three touchdowns. Others to have fine weeks include Steve Le (164 yards, one TD) and Roy Santiago (125 yards, one TD) of Union City, Jared Crayton of St. Peter’s Prep (134 yards, two TDs) and Damian Corredor of Weehawken, whose 107 yards put him way over the 1,000-yard mark already this season…Lincoln’s Isiah Roberts (11-of-19, 185 yards, three TDs) leads the local passers….Mike Mele of Secaucus had 112 yards on receptions and two touchdowns and added a third TD on a punt return…Steven Jones of Lincoln had 102 yards on four catches, two of which went for scores…
Hudson Reporter H.S. Football Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (3-2). 2. Secaucus (5-0). 3. North Bergen (3-2). 4. Bayonne (4-1). 5. Union City (4-1)….
Hudson Reporter H.S. Soccer Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (10-1). 2. North Bergen (8-4). 3. Union City (5-6-1). 4. Bayonne (7-5). 5. Hoboken (6-5)…
There were other impressive performances at the Brett Taylor Invitational Cross Country meet last week at Darlington Park. Sophomore Shaquille Sutherland of Dickinson led the way, finishing fourth overall in 16:31, followed by North Bergen’s Francisco Canas of North Bergen (7th, 16:36); Francisco Rodriguez of Dickinson (8th, 16:57); Aaron Rubert of Dickinson (14th, 17:15); and the impressive array of St. Peter’s Prep runners, namely sophomores Jimmy Sause (17th, 17:23); Danny Apicella (19th, 17:25), Fritz Heinrich (20th, 17:26) and senior Willie Sabbers (21st, 17:26). The four Marauder runners all finished remarkably within three seconds of each other. Certainly means a bright future for Coach Mike Burgess and the Marauders…–Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.