The Long-Awaited Return of Normal Sports: 2021 Fall Preview


Grace Oliver

Black Out: Students at the Football team’s first home game of the season.

Cresskill athletes have put in the work all summer in preparation for the fall season and are finally ready to play.  They face a minor setback: not being able to practice or play on home fields for the first week of the real season due to recent flooding. But athletes will make the best of the situation until they can return. Students and fans alike are excited to have many games on the schedule this fall, playing many rivals that bring an extremely competitive nature to the games. And while there are some lingering effects of Covid-19 such as waving to the other team rather than shaking hands, for the most part this season is bringing back the normalcy that so many crave.



Captains: Nicholas Coleman (Senior), Richard Miraldi  (Senior), Sidney Hamburger  (Senior)

Last Season: 3-4

Under the Friday Night Lights.

Outlook: Last season was a tough one for the Cougars football program, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and was the first time Cresskill football had a losing season in years. The boys went 3-4, with a shortened season and no playoffs. With a senior dominant team, this year’s team is looking to fill some pretty big shoes. Last year Anthony Coleman and Daniel Ferrara anchored down the offensive line, Jon DiTore and Kiel McGee held key wide receiver and tight end positions, and most notably Kyle Henderson no longer leading the offense at QB. Jeremy Connelly willalso not be seen on the field this season. Senior Sid Hamburger says that “This year we have a different team because we are so young but, I don’t think that means we aren’t as talented as usual. We have a great group of 7 seniors that will start on both sides of the ball and lead us. The juniors and sophomores are very gifted athletes and will get more comfortable as the year progresses. Eventually they will not only step into these new roles, but thrive in them.” Returning are O/D lineman Nicky Coleman, corner and wide receiver Richard Miraldi, RB/LB Sidney Hamburger, and safety Luke Stein who all started last season and played a big role on last year’s team. The football team looks to be back in a positive schedule this season with more wins than losses. The team plays Secaucus away on Friday, September 24th. Come support your Cougars! 


Girl’s Soccer

Last Season: 0-10 

Captains: Danielle Hitterer (Senior), Jacqui Gorfin (Senior)


The girls soccer team had a rough season last year, with most of the team being underclassmen. Although this is still the case, the team has developed a roster of 21 players which is the largest in

The Girls’ Team huddles during a game.

years with some promising players along with previous players that have been able to develop their skills. Captain Jacqui Gorfin shares that “the girls come to practice giving it their all and can’t wait to show off their hard work in the games to come.” The team is hopeful that they will win more often this year and counteract the previous season.


Boy’s Soccer:

Last Season: 9-2, Semifinalists

Captains:  Jack Zeigher (Senior), Sean Savill (Senior), Jacob Lee (Junior).


Last season the Cresskill boys soccer team had an amazing season only losing 2 games both to Waldwick, one being in the semifinals. Senior and leading scorer Jean Paul Solano states that “I definitely think we still will have an extremely strong team this season. We had a hiccup early in the season but it’s fine because we’ll bounce back and continue to have a great season. I also believe that the gaps left by last year’s seniors have already been filled by our players. Some awards that were received last year by these talented underclassmen were Jacob Lee: first team all-league, second team all-group, Jean-Paul Solano: first team all-league, second team all-group, third team- all county, Cameron Raymond: first team all-league, second team all-group, and Sean Savill: second team all-league. As you can see the boys have a hopeful vision for their season so come support them as they try to turn this into a reality!



Last Season: 6-10

Captains: Niamh Tobin (Senior), Sabriea Mirzo (Senior), Amber Dangelico ( Junior)

Outlook: The Cresskill Cougars volleyball team has brought together an excellent group of girls for this year’s season. Most of them have now had a year or two of experience on Varsity and are ready to forward all they have learned into what could be their most promising season yet. The team is headed by seniors Niamh Tobin and Sabriea Mirzo as well as junior setter Amber Dangelico. Niamh states that “despite the loss of 6 seniors the team has really come together and formed a bond that is unbreakable.” Sabriea follows by stating that this is the “year to be seen.” Come support the volleyball team as they move forward in their already 3-0 season!


Boys Cross Country

Last Season: 5th in the league

Outlook: The Boys Cross Country team is looking to make a splash in 2021. There were some big losses such as senior and moral backbone of the team, Alex Riccardo (who is going to run for New Haven) and beloved coach Woodford; with this being said, there were many improvements made to the team that should catapult u

s over the hump. Now, Mr. Chris Messina, a teacher at Palisades Park, is the new head coach. And already there have been some promising results: Omer Chai, a freshman who recently joined, placed second in the most recent varsity meet with a time of 18:49 at Garret Mountain. Not to mention drastic improvements to certain members such as sophomore Ryan Chung who ran a 20:47 at Darlington as our second fastest runner despite not having run a single varsity meet last year. Additionally, seniors Dylan Kim and Michael Tuohy made their return to the team last week and as Kim said: “we be beast, be ready.” This season, with our team placing fourth in the league so far, marks the definition of triumph under adversity. 



Girls Cross Country

Last Season: Lots of rookies trying to fill big shoes.

Outlook: Since Jackie Lulaj’s graduation in 2020, there has long been a hole left in the girl’s cross country team that has yet to be filled since. That was until Danielle Tilp (finally) decided to join Cross Country. After crushing multiple event records for the Cresskill Girls’ Track team as a sophomore last year, Danielle was no stranger to running. Surrounded by a team of newbies, it is up to her to carry her team to the promised land. Or at least – herself. All eyes are on Danielle to see if she can break Jackie’s record that was set only several years prior. 


Girls Tennis: 

Last Season: 6-4

Outlook: The girl’s tennis team of Cresskill Highschool had an average season last year only looking to improve now. Losing tennis prodigy Stephanie Kim will definitely be felt among team members but freshman Stella Yun is here to fill the shoes; she is ranked in the USTA (United States Tennis Association). Although she is only a freshman her talent will be instrumental to the team and will only become more helpful as she gets older and gains more experience. 




Last season: Only allowed to cheer at two home games due to the pandemic

Captains: Emily Brennan (Senior), Nicole Moallen (Senior), Keyla Hiciano (Senior), Yarden Blum (Senior). 

Outlook: The Cresskill High School cheerleaders wanted to make a strong comeback this year after only cheering at home games last season. The team has been working hard all summer learning

Jackie Kletsman, Abby Green, and Mackenzie Wolfer

and perfecting their dance routine and sideline cheers and the hard work shows at games. This season the team is fortunate to have a lot of new girls join, which has been a huge bonus. They have been working so hard to be the best they can be. In late November, the team plans on competing at the 4th annual Randolph Rampage at Randolph High School.