Maplewood 8th Grade Boys Defeat West Essex for 3rd Team Championship

by The Village Green
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Front row: Isaiah Skinn, Samaj Hairston-Long, Tyler Williams, Isaiah Oliver, Jalen James Back row: Coach Steve Conway, Shelton Colwell, Steve Conway Jr, Julien Leveille, Adler Cleghorn, Miracle Okoli, Ammon Eaton, Noah Roberts, Coach Greg Clark.

The Maplewood 8th Grade boys team finished their season with a convincing championship win over West Essex, 74-59, on Wednesday, February 26. They finish the season at 15-0, their second consecutive undefeated season. This championship is the third in their four-year middle school careers, and they have certainly left their mark on the program, and set the bar high for the teams who will follow. Players and coaches were ecstatic about finishing their 8th grade year with a championship win. Coach Greg Clark said, “This is one of the most fun groups of kids I’ve had the pleasure of coaching. Not only were they great together on the court, but they’re all really good friends off the court. They don’t see it now, but that’s what they will remember down the road, the friendships and memories. And of course the championships too.”

“It’s been really fun to watch these guys over the last four years,” said Eddie Starzynski, lead coach of the Maplewood Basketball program. “Much like our girls team, they have dominated their league and done it above and beyond our expectations. All of these guys should be impact players wherever they choose to play their high school careers next season. Some of these guys are actually only 7th graders, so it will be exciting to have them back with us next year, looking to add to their Maplewood Basketball legacy. I am certainly excited for what the future will bring for these guys, and the bar that they have set for the rest of our program.”

The Maplewood Basketball program will be on break for the spring, but will get back to work for the summer, utilizing the new basketball courts being built at Dehart Park. Be on the lookout later in the summer for tryout information for next year’s travel teams, and all other basketball programming. For more information, contact program director Eddie Starzynski at estarzynski@twp.maplewood.nj.us.

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