Courtesy of TapIntoClark.com (as edited by Crusader Today staff)
CLARK, NJ- The Johnson High School Crusaders varsity football team took the field on Friday determined to win the UNICO bowl this year. The Crusaders kept control of the ball and fought with great physicality on both sides of the ball, and defeated the Hillside High School Comets by a final score of 22-13 in Clark. “It’s a credit to their hard work and the type of young men they are,” said Coach DelConte. “It’s awesome to see them pull together in such tight situations.”
By winning this game (AKA Unico Bowl), Johnson Crusaders are now the 2017 Mid-State 38 Valley Division Conference Champions. It is the first time since 2006 that Johnson won a conference championship. “It’s a great feeling. We’re always working really hard [and] doing the best we can,” Johnson senior and co-captain Tommy Bowen said. “It’s awesome to see everything pay off."
The Crusaders struck first with the scoring on the night. On a drive that featured a lot of short rushing plays, senior Mike Casalino sped through the defenders and into the end zone for a five-yard rushing touchdown to put Johnson on the board 6-0, the score after a fast-moving first quarter.
Hillside would strike around the mid-point of the second quarter, with sophomore Nahree Biggins barreling up the field for a 38-yard rushing touchdown. Following the extra point, Hillside took the 7-6 lead.
Johnson would start the next drive in Hillside territory and would answer back. In a drive that featured eight plays and 44 yards, Turek finished off the drive with a 11-yard rushing touchdown. After a two-point conversion attempt came up short, the Crusaders took back the lead, up 12-7.
In the win, Turek finished with 155 yards on 26 carries to go along with his rushing touchdown.
Senior quarterback Mike Bruno continues to lead his team on offense, rushing for 72 yards on eight carries. He credits his coaches for getting him and his teammates ready every week.
The Johnson Crusaders (5-0) head into their bye week. They return to action with a home game against Somerville HS on Friday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m.
By Chloe Hessler
On March 29, SMAC and Key Club are organizing a joint fundraiser Student vs. Staff basketball game at 5:00 in the lower gym. The admission will cost $5.00, and there will be a bake sale outside of the gym before and during the game. All proceeds will be donated to the teen center at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Tylor Collins' name. Tylor spent a lot of time there while receiving treatment and it needs to be remodeled to ensure that all teens at RWJ have the most comfortable experience possible.
Currently the faculty/staff team is made up of Mr. Delmonaco, Mr. Klimchak, Mr. Zimbardo, Ms. Mills, Ms. Bukoweic, Ms. Davy, Ms. Celso, and Ms. Cusick will be playing in the basketball game and there are more to come. Any students can play except basketball players and Spring athletes. Senior basketball players can play if they don’t play a spring sport. Students that are eligible are strongly encouraged to sign up and take on the ALJ staff, or to support on the sidelines. Not only will it be a memorable and enjoyable event, but it is an amazing cause that benefits a hospital where Tylor Collins spent a lot of his time, along with other teens receiving treatment. If you or someone you know is interested in playing, please contact Ms. Cusick or Ms. Bukoweic as soon as possible.
By Dan Collins--Courtesy of TapintoClark.com
CLARK, NJ - Arthur L. Johnson High School junior Chris Fuschetto achieved a milestone 100 career varsity wrestling victories on Friday afternoon, becoming the school’s first-ever junior to accomplish the feat. Fuschetto pinned Henry Condado of Franklin Township High School just 14 seconds into their match to secure the win.
Fuschetto said the milestone feels great, but his mind is set on more major goals on the mat, and continuing to wrestle hard.
Fuschetto is the fourth wrestler at ALJ to reach the 100-win mark. He joins Kyle Gregorio (2016), Anthony Priore (2007) and Andy Trzcinski (1994), who all reached it in their senior years.
“It was so awesome to see Chris get win No. 100,” senior and teammate Mike Brennan said. “He is well deserving of it because he is easily one of the hardest workers on our team and also one of our best leaders. I can't wait to see how many he can finish his career with next year and hopefully break some more records in the process.”
Fuschetto said he is motivated by winning, and that’s what gets him ready for every practice and match. He said he never envisioned achieving the milestone of 100 career wins in his junior year, thinking it would definitely be his senior year when he would wrap up the accomplishment.
“It’s pretty nice to see because he works so hard to succeed at his goal especially as a junior,” teammate and junior Dan Olenick said. “It’s very impressive for him to get 100 wins.”
A wrestler since he was four years old, Fuschetto credits his parents, teammates and coaches for supporting him throughout his career. Fuschetto said he’s been highly influenced by wrestling coaches Dan Hilt, Donnie Defillepis and Craig Frost.
He’s enjoyed his time on the ALJ team and proudly recalls county and district title wins as other high-points in his high school career.
“It’s been good, it’s been a good ride,” Fuschetto said. “I have another year, so I just have to keep going.”
“First of all, it’s an honor to have a guy with 100 wins after three years,” Johnson head coach Mike Siter said. “He’s going to set the record here at Johnson High School. Not too many guys in the state have 100 wins in their junior season, so it’s an honor coaching a wrestler like that, who puts in the time in the offseason, during the season, after practice and so on. It’s an honor to coach Chris Fuschetto.”
Fuschetto offered words of advice for others who want to try and achieve the things that he’s been able to do up to this point.
“You have to able to work hard in the room all-day and every day,” Fuschetto said. “You got to want to do the work.”
As he looks ahead to his senior year of wrestling, Fuschetto said his main goal is to place in the top five ranking in the state of New Jersey.
“It’s great to see Chris, he’s one of the hardest working kids in our school and it shows with his performance on the mat in the three years he’s been there,” Gus Kalikas, the athletic director of the Clark Public School District, said. “100 wins is a great accomplishment for a senior, but to do it his junior year, it’s unheard of and we can’t wait to see what he does for the rest of his career.”
On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, various staff members and administrators at Arthur L. Johnson High School participated in a signing day ceremony to honor Gianna Randazza’s and Vincent Campbell’s years of service to Crusader Athletics and commemorate their signing of Nation Letters of Intent to play NCAA Collegiate Athletics.
Arthur L. Johnson’s senior student athlete Gianna Randazza signed her letter of intent to continue her athletic and academic career at the collegiate level, where she will continue playing softball at Boston College for the Eagles. The senior pitcher had an outstanding season for the Crusaders as she led her team to a Divisional, County, and State Championship in softball. Gianna also was named first team all state in the sport of softball. As one can see, Gianna has had a wonderful athletic career as a Crusader.
Arthur L. Johnson’s senior student athlete Vincent Campbell signed his letter of intent to continue his athletic and academic career at the collegiate level, where he will continue playing lacrosse at Mercy College for the Mavericks. The senior defenseman had an outstanding season for the Crusaders as he led his team to a Divisional Championship in lacrosse.
Gus Kalikas, Athletic Director at Arthur L. Johnson High School, had this to say about the event. “Gianna and Vin have been integral parts of the success of our athletic programs while attending Arthur L. Johnson High School. More importantly, they have been model student athletes that did things the right way both on the fields, in the classroom, and throughout our community. Although it will be sad to see them leave, the Crusader’s loss is Boston College’s and Mercy College’s gain, and we look forward to following their successful collegiate athletic careers over the next four years.”
Crusader Athletics would like to wish the best of luck to Gianna and Vincent as they culminate wonderful careers for the Crusaders and continues their academic and athletic successes as collegiate student athletes.
Photos and story by Dan Collins Courtesy of TapIntoClark.com
CLARK, NJ- The Arthur L. Johnson High School celebrated its graduating senior football players, cheerleaders and marching band members in a special recognition held before Friday night's football game against North Plainfield.
The student athletes were joined on the field by their family members, in a special remembrance of their years as Crusaders.
The Class of 2017 seniors honored were:
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J.-
Story and Picture by Dan Collins, courtesy of TapIntoClark.com Johnson senior and co-captain Katie Prestinari scored two goals to lead the Crusaders over the Governor Livingston Highlanders Tuesday afternoon in Berkeley Heights. The final score was 7-0.
She scored her first goal at 20:05 of the first half, and added her second goal at 22:16 of the second half to help her team maintain full control of the game. She now leads the team with 11 goals on the season.
“Beating Governor Livingston will help us going into our next competition with Cranford and I can't wait to see what Johnson brings in the first round of counties,” Prestinari said.
ALJ junior and co-captain Amy Wysocki opened the scoring with her first goal of the season at 14:27 of the first half. She also recorded an assist in the victory.
“Keeping control of the ball is really important for us and just working together as a team,” Wysocki said. “Talking on the field and just constantly moving and passing really helped us keep control and ultimately win and will help us boost our morale for the game on Saturday.”
Johnson maintained a 2-0 lead at halftime, controlling the game on both sides of the ball. For most of the first half, the Crusaders kept the ball in Governor Livingston’s part of the field. By the second half, the Crusaders had completely taken over the game and never looked back.
Johnson junior Emma Francisco made one save for her sixth shutout of the season, saying the way the team communicates on the field in every single game has been crucial in each win.
By Danielle Hartzler
There is no better way to develop comradery among the Crusader population than to be represented by 35 of the most talented student athletes in Union County. The 2016/2017 Johnson football team has exceeded expectations so far this fall. It was only a matter of time until the football players in the classes of 2017 and 2018 became upperclassmen, and their 3-1 record sends quite the message.
Their performance is exciting and expanding the student-based fan section at games, who’s fans are displaying the most school pride ever. The Crusaders are led by Johnson alumni, Coach Delconte, who believes that the mental and physical strength of his team has carried them this season. Lifting took up a huge portion of the preseason for the players, and more than half of the team is included in the impressive “1,000 Pound Club”.
Mentally, the Crusaders are just as tough, having many returners come back with experience and motivation. “You can’t trade experience for anything else,” Coach Delconte said in regards to his team. This is just the beginning for Crusader football, being that their goals are to win conference title, and become Group 2 state champions.
It is clear to see that senior quarterback Vin Crisafi and these young men are more focused and capable than ever. They started off their season with a shutout win over the Pioneers of New Providence, and continued by finally bashing Bernards, in a victory that is key to the rest of their season. After losing to a tough Roselle team, the Crusaders kept their heads up and took on Delaware Valley at home. Rain or shine, the Crusaders still end up on top as their record improves to 3-1.
The student body is at ease to watch the determination of these student athletes turn into well-deserved success as the season progresses.