Eagles recognized for another stellar season


MILLSTONE — The township is proud of the success of its Pop Warner football and cheer squads.

The Pee Wee and Junior Midget cheer and football teams were honored at the Dec. 16 Township Committee meeting.

Mayor Nancy Grbelja said it was wonderful to have so many people attend the last meeting of the year in celebration of the achievements of those who represent the future of Millstone.

“The Township Committee wanted you here tonight so people know who put Millstone Township on the map, not only statewide but nationwide,” she said.

Grbelja said the Pop Warner program, including its coaches and volunteers, is a model organization for the township, state and nation.

“What you have been able to do on a yearly basis is just outstanding,” she said.

The mayor noted that the Millstone Eagles Pee Wee football team finished its season 14-1, were deemed the central New Jersey champions and placed in the top four teams during the eastern regional play-offs when facing off against teams from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The Junior Pee Wee football team was deemed Garden State champions, winning the championship game held on Nov. 29 at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway.

Some of the football players commented on the highlights of the year. For Dominick Barelli, it was beating rival team Monroe.

Michael Pullen said the Eagles are a family and not just a football team.

“We work through blood, sweat and tears,” he said.

Anthony Morrone said players always stick together as a team.

According to Andrew Dorfman, Millstone has “the best coaches ever.”

Brett Masci, son of Committeeman Fiore Masci, relished the memory of beating Trenton at Rutgers to become the first Millstone team to earn the Garden State Championship title.

Jimmy McAfee said the Eagles never gave up after losing to New Brunswick last year.

“We got through that and we won the championship,” he said.

The Millstone Eagles Pee Wee cheer squad took second place in the national championships in Orlando, Fla., and first place in the central New Jersey and eastern regional championships.

The Junior Midget cheer squad took first place in the central New Jersey championship, second place in the eastern regional championship and third place in the national championship.

Junior Midget Head Coach Beth Butner said, “They give so much and try so hard. I couldn’t have asked for more. They were amazing.”

Grbelja said that one of the most important lessons in organized sports is the value of teamwork.

“Working together to achieve a common goal is an important lesson for the rest of your life,” she said. “There is something to learn from losing — you come back stronger, and it’s a learning experience.”

Grbelja said the players coming from the Millstone Pop Warner program could one day form an undefeated team at Allentown High School.

Team mom Louise San Nicola presented a team photo to the governing body, which Grbelja said would be proudly displayed.