Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Opportunity for No. Highlands

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New Opportunity for No. Highlands

Article excerpt

A new life was granted to Northern Highlands football Tuesday, and first-year coach Keith Migliorino and the Highlanders are ready to make the most of it.

Wayne Hills, the anticipated No. 1 seed in the North 1, Group 4 playoffs, was disqualified for the postseason by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. The Patriots self- reported a violation that they used three players who didn't have a bona fide change of address, yet they appeared in every game this season.

With Wayne Hills' exit, Northern Highlands - originally ninth in power points - entered. It will be the No. 8 seed and take on No. 1 Irvington in the first round.

"It was a very exciting moment for the kids," Migliorino said. "They're ecstatic for the opportunity to play another game and about having this chance."

Northern Highlands started the year 4-0, but fell out of the playoff race after a four-game losing streak to Wayne Valley, Mahwah, NV/Old Tappan and River Dell. The program has now qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2013, but before that, the Highlanders' last appearance was in 2001.

Northern Highlands originally was preparing this week for a consolation game, though it was in "a unique situation," Migliorino said, because the team still didn't know its opponent or if it would play at all.

With the Wayne Hills news becoming official, Northern Highlands went from potentially having no game to having roughly three days to prepare for Irvington in the playoffs.

The Blue Knights previously were undefeated until they fell to Wayne Hills, 48-27, last week. …

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