Patriot Press Overview- 2019 Fall Sports Recap


George McNish | For NJ Advance Media

Wayne Hills players celebrate with quarterback Michael Casasanta after he ran for a long touchdown..

As the colored leaves on the trees start to willow away and the feelings of the holiday season creep in, the fall sports season has officially come to a close at Wayne Hills. Let’s take a look at how each team did.




The Wayne Hills girls volleyball team has had a fine season. They finished the season with a record of 7-11. It was a good inaugural season under new head coach Pedro Crespo. He is a great coach and he coached the girls all the way to the county finals. Ella Harris, the middle, was one of the best players on the team. She was joined by fellow seniors Kristy Gabriele, Annarose Bernardo, Alexis Gil, Danijela Markonoivc, and Stella Park. The team’s three outside hitters were Gil and juniors Abbey Quagliana and Caterina Lepore. The team racked up 631 total kills and showed their prowess in terms of their attack. In terms of postseason play, the girls’ county title ambitions were cut short early on in a 2-0 home loss to West Milford. Despite this disappointing ending, it was a solid and memorable season for the girls volleyball team.



The Patriots lost many seniors from last year’s football team. They came in this season with almost a completely new team. After playing as a defensive back last year, Mike Casasanta transitioned from DB to the starting QB. The season opened up in North Carolina, against Ridge View High School. Wayne Hills alumni and Carolina Panthers Tight End Greg Olsen attended the game to support the team on the sideline, but it wasn’t enough as the Patriots fell 12-0. After a long trip, the team was back home. They geared up to play town rival, Wayne Valley. The Patriots were able to obtain their first win by beating them 14-7. The Patriots went 6-2 after beating Valley. They Lost two away games to Old Tappan and Longtime rival, Ramapo. They also won each of their home games blowing out Fair lawn, West Milford, and Indian Hills. They got their only road win against Passaic Valley. This team has shown flashes of greatness. They gave Ramapo a run for their money. They competed with a top 5 team in the state and took them to overtime, but unfortunately lost to them 35-28. In the first round of the North 2 Group 4 Playoffs, the Patriots weren’t able to give their fans another long playoff run, as they fell at home to crosstown rival Wayne Valley, 13-6. 


Girls Soccer:

The girls’ soccer team has had a season where they have had terrific triumphs and crushing defeats. For the most part, they have had a very good season so far, going 10-6 in regular season play and 10-4 inside of the Big North Conference. Some standout players are Senior Forwards Brooke Alexander and Abbey Weltman, who are 1st and 2nd respectively on the team in terms of goals scored with 8 and 7. Some other key players are Senior Defender Laura Lassen, Junior Midfielders Mia Lombardi and Courtney Reudt, and Sophomore Goalkeeper Janelle Licerio. The Girls have had some big wins this season, including beating the best team in the NJIC and one of the best teams in the state in Pompton Lakes, in the opening round of the Passaic County Tournament, before falling in the Semis to DePaul, 3-1. They opened up NJSIAA Sectional State Playoff Play with a home game on Monday, October 28th and hosted Pascack Valley, whom they beat 3-1. Mia Lombardi stepped up bigtime, scoring 2 goals, the first coming off a header on a corner kick from the far side by Kirsten Stepien, and the second coming courtesy of a pass from freshman Lilly Weltman which got past everyone, and Lombardi finished it off with a left-footed strike that was deflected into the net by Pascack Valley goalkeeper Sam Conjour. The third goal was scored by sophomore forward Sydney Chessin, her 2nd of the year. They will travel to take on Paramus on Thursday, October 31st for the second round of the state sectional tournament.


Boys Soccer: 

As for the boys soccer team, they have their first state sectional playoff game on Tuesday, October 29th, also an away game at Paramus. The boys team has also had quite an up and down season, as they have played just above .500 soccer with an 8-7-2 record as of Tuesday, October 29th. In the Passaic County Tournament, they fell to an undefeated Clifton team 3-0 in the opening round but put up a solid fight in the first 40 minutes as the scoreboard read 1-0 Clifton after a half. Their demise was the second half, where they let up 2 scores. Senior goalkeeper and University of Hartford commit Billy Schultze had 25 saves in the match, but for the second time this season, the Patriots weren’t able to muster a goal against a Clifton team that finished the season as the third-best team in the state and won their 21st Passaic County title. Overall, both teams have had another season filled with success and both get the opportunity to represent their school in postseason soccer.


Cross Country:

The Wayne Hills cross country team enjoyed a nice season. On the boys’ side, the team featured 9 seniors, Ian Bregman, Christopher Essig, Andrew Ginart, Jeremy Hedian, Mohammed Hozien, Robert Pyper, Robert Stepien, Avery Torres, and Steven Zhang. The mass amount of experience the team brung to the table led them to a position where they competed in both the Passaic County and NJSIAA SC Championships. Junior Justin Langbaum was one of the team’s best runners this season, and his season was highlighted by a Top 10 finish in the 5K at the Big North Championships, where he went up against the best competition in the division. For the girls, they had 3 seniors, them being Claudia Bryzek, Julia Chrisbacher, and Julia Taggart. The team’s true strength lied in the underclassmen, however, as freshmen Nabria Smith and Olivia Lam set team bests in the 2900m and 3000m at the Season Opener Invitational and Six Flags Invitational respectively, while Sophomore Kyla Leathers also earned a team-best and Top-10 finish in the 5K at the Big North Championships. All-in-All, the Cross Country team had a solid season and continued to build their core of talent for the future.


Field Hockey:

The Wayne Hills Field Hockey Team did not live up to the expectations they put out for themselves this year. Their record was 6-13, and the season was an uphill battle, but these rough moments and heartbreaking losses are what develops great players, and the returning players for next year’s squad are sure to remember this season.  The team’s last loss came against Warren Hills, 13-0. Senior Captain Riley Flynn was out for the season with a broken leg, which was a huge blow to the team’s success. In her absence, fellow captain Afi Ibragimov had to step up and lead the team. The girls knocked off West Milford in the opening round of the Passaic County Tournament before falling to Lakeland, 4-0, in the next round. Despite the record, the girls still had a lot of fun, and they hope to be back next season with some vengeance and an improved record.