Good sportsmanship makes Millstone proud

Township officials recognize Eagles team for its stellar season


Staff Writer

Millstone’s Mighty Mite coach, Mike Turner, praises his team for its attitude and accomplishments at the Millstone Township Committee meeting Dec. 6. Millstone’s Mighty Mite coach, Mike Turner, praises his team for its attitude and accomplishments at the Millstone Township Committee meeting Dec. 6. MILLSTONE — The undefeated Millstone Mighty Mites, a Pop Warner football team consisting of 32 Millstone youths ages 7-9, were honored at the Dec. 6 Township Committee meeting.

The team, which includes one female player, finished its season undefeated with a 10-0 record. The meeting room at the municipal building was filled with parents, kids, coaches and friends to support the team. Not all the proud parents sat in the audience, however; one team parent, Committeeman Elias Abilheira, sat on the dais.

Mayor Nancy Grbelja said it is always a great pleasure for the governing body to recognize youngsters in town who do good and make Millstone residents proud.

Abilheira thanked Grbelja, whom he said has been a staunch advocate of recreational activities for children and young people. He also thanked Deputy Mayor Bob Kinsey, whom he said works many hours with coaches and volunteers in town.

“It just improves every year,” Abilheira said. “All for one specific reason — for the kids.”

Head coach Mike Turner said he preached to his team all year that it takes a group to unite as one in order to be successful. Every component of the season, according to Turner, far exceeded any expectation he and the team had.

“Seven-, 8- and 9-year-olds put gear on for the first time in their lives,” he said, “and went out on a football field and worked their tails off for four straight months.”

Turner added that without the help of parents, players and coaches, the program would not have worked. He especially thanked team moms Beverly Hetrick and Traci Klehr for their support.

Grbelja told the team that she had gone out many times to watch them play and that their good sportsmanship had made her extremely proud.

“There are no quitters on this team,” she said. “You really are what Millstone Township is all about. You work hard, play hard and take care of business.”

The team’s players, listed alphabetically, are Elias Abilheira, Mariah Adler, Alex Alves, Kevin Bergen, Dominic Borelli, Mike Brewer, Michael Dacey, Hunter Gerling, Michael Goldsman, Nick Griffiths, Pino Henry, Robby Hetrick, Charles Klehr, Ryan Locke, Brett Masci, Jim McAffee, Tristan Millett, Brian Mishkin, Anthony Morrone, Daniel Moyer, Michael Mulcahy, Richie Mullarkey, Tyler Newman, Bekim Nikovic, Brandon Nitti, Tyler Patterson, Michael Pullen, Dante Ricci, Nick San Nicola, Zach Turner, Michael Vurry and Jordan Winston.

Besides Turner, coaches include offensive coordinator Mark Henry, defensive coordinator Al Morrone, assistant offensive coordinator Michael Dacey, assistant defensive coordinator Richard Mullarkey, line coaches Jim McAffee and John Millett, and assistant line coaches Jeff Brewer and Mike Mulcahy.