Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Delbarton Says No to Big Bergen Football Teams

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Delbarton Says No to Big Bergen Football Teams

Article excerpt

Delbarton's football schedule has the Green Wave playing The Haverford School of Pennsylvania at home Oct. 1.

Don Bosco's schedule has the Ironmen playing Delbarton the same day.

Football teams don't usually play doubleheaders.

The landscape of New Jersey high school football took a turn toward the ridiculous when news surfaced Tuesday that Delbarton dismissed an attempted compromise by the organizers of the New Jersey Super Football Conference regarding its 2016 schedule.

Delbarton maintains that it never actually joined the new 113- team football-only league. However, Joe Piro, the NJSFC executive director and Nutley athletic director, said that the school did have a representative at the first full membership meeting and did vote on the conference constitution and alignment.

The formation of the NJSFC - an amalgam of the Big North, Super Essex Conference, Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference and Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association - will debut this fall in an effort to solve some of the competitive and scheduling inequities.

At the heart of the matter is Delbarton's seeming unwillingness to play football games against the large non-public schools in Bergen County. The schedule provided by the conference had Delbarton slated to play Bergen Catholic, St. Joseph, Don Bosco, DePaul, St. Peter's Prep and Paramus Catholic.

Bergen Catholic and St. Peter's Prep found alternate games to replace the Green Wave. Delbarton agreed to play Paramus Catholic, and it has DePaul on the schedule it provided to The Record.

The two games still at odds are against St. Joseph and Don Bosco. Piro said the league had found a potential solution, but Delbarton still would have to play one of the two schools.

Delbarton said no, according to Piro.

Both sides will present their case at a hearing Tuesday before the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association's Leagues and Conferences Committee. It is possible that the NJSFC could file a lawsuit if it loses the case before the NJSIAA.

Delbarton Headmaster Brother Paul Diveny and athletic director Dan Whelan did not return messages seeking comment. Instead, the school issued a three-sentence statement to The Record on Tuesday afternoon.

"Delbarton School looks forward to playing the schedule it has put together for the 2016 football season," the statement read in part. "The schedule gives our students an opportunity to test their skills and athleticism on a field that values healthy competition."

Those familiar with New Jersey high school athletics know that Delbarton has one of the top athletic reputations in the state. It is a powerhouse in multiple sports, including ice hockey - where it just won its seventh state title since 2008 - not to mention soccer, lacrosse and tennis.

Don Bosco actually is scheduled to play Delbarton in baseball this weekend. And the school regularly schedules games in other sports against many of the North Jersey non-public schools. …

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