Edison squad looks to overcome inexperience


 Edison High School’s Osmany Salgado (17) heads the ball forward toward teammate Kevin Orrego (10) during the Eagles’ soccer match against Colonia on Oct. 9. Host Colonia won the greater Middlesex Conference match, 3-0.  MATT DENTON Photo Edison High School’s Osmany Salgado (17) heads the ball forward toward teammate Kevin Orrego (10) during the Eagles’ soccer match against Colonia on Oct. 9. Host Colonia won the greater Middlesex Conference match, 3-0. MATT DENTON Photo EDISON

I t may have surprised some that previously winless Edison High School defeated North Brunswick High School, 37-27, on Oct. 10, but not Eagles head coach Matt Fulham.

Fulham said he knew it would be a matter of time before his young team won its first game.

“I knew we would go through some growing pains,” said Fulham, whose team is 1-4 overall and in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Red Division. “We returned just three from last year’s [6-4] team, and only two more that had playing experience.”

The problems that plagued the Eagles unfortunately required game experience to remedy. Players unaccustomed to varsity football missed blocking assignments and were caught out of position to make tackles, along with other mistakes. However, once the Eagles became familiar with Fulham’s tried-and-true system, the offense became more productive and the defense stiffened.

“We opened up with some of the better teams in our Red Division, like Piscataway, Old Bridge and Monroe,” Fulham said. “Going against teams with some of the best players in the conference slowed our development. But our focus now is to take advantage of the bye week and get healthy before we play South Brunswick [5-0].”

Offensive and defensive tackle Irvin Childress, running back, wide receiver and defensive back Joe Kim, and key linebacker Godwin Asamoah are the three experienced senior captains who have led their team through the early season choppy waters.

Edison is in its first year as a member of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V section after competing in North Jersey II Group V in recent years. The current standings find the Eagles in 10th place, which means if the season ended today, they would be on the outside looking in at playoff qualifiers.

Following the South Brunswick contest, Edison hosts Freehold Township High School (2-3), one of the teams ahead of them in the standings. The final qualifying game was scheduled for Nov. 7 against Sayreville War Memorial High School, but because the Bombers’ remaining games have been cancelled, Edison will be awarded a forfeit.


Metuchen High School is making a bid to return to the Central Jersey Group I playoffs this season for the first time since 2011, and is off to a 3-1 start overall and 1-1 in the Blue Division. After suffering their first loss of the season against Dunellen High School (46-22) on Sept. 27, the Bulldogs responded with a 62-8 thrashing of Keansburg High School on Oct. 11.

Metuchen holds its playoff hopes in its own hands with four qualifying games remaining, but the next two could be the toughest. The Bulldogs travel to Middlesex High School (5-0) on Oct. 18 and host Mater Dei High School (4-1) on Oct. 25. They return home the following two weeks with games against Keyport High School (1-4) Nov. 1 and Spotswood High School (2-3) Nov. 8.

“Our goal is to play a football game in December,” said Bob Ulmer, head coach. “That means we need to gain a berth in the playoffs and get to the finals. In order to do that, we need to play flawless, aggressive football.”

Ulmer says a reason why his team has fared better this season is because his players have become more familiar with the system employed by the coach, who is in the second year of his second go-round on the sidelines.

“In particular, the offensive line has blocked better and the defense has been solid,” he continued. “A combination of things has come together.”


Bishop George Ahr High School (3-2) suffered a 28-14 loss to John F. Kennedy Memorial High School on Oct. 10, which evened the Trojans’ record in the GMC White Division at 2-2. Bishop Ahr will be on the road Oct. 17 to face South Plainfield High School (1-3 division and overall), and Carteret High School (3-1 division, 3-2 overall) on Oct. 24, and will host Perth Amboy High School (0-3 division, 0-4 overall) on Nov. 7.


St. Joseph High School evened its overall record at 2-2, with a 42-14 win over Perth Amboy on Oct. 10. The Falcons are 2-1 in the White Division and play road games the next four weeks: Carteret (Oct. 17), Colonia High School (Oct. 24), Woodbridge High School (Oct. 31) and New Brunswick High School (Nov. 7).


J.P. Stevens High School (0-5 Red Division and overall) looks to get on the winning side of the ledger on Oct. 17 when it visits East Brunswick High School (1-3), followed by home games with North Brunswick High School (1-4) and Marlboro High School (0-5).

The Stevens girls tennis team (14-0) was scheduled to host Ridge High School (14- 1) in the Central Jersey Group IV championship match, weather permitting, on Oct. 14. The Hawks, coached by Ellen Pisano, shared the team title with South Brunswick at the GMC tournament earlier this month.

In the GMCs, sophomore Deepti Talesra and junior Jackie Quan won the second and third singles, respectively, while JPS’s first and second doubles teams of senior Michele Tsung/junior Jessica Ho and sophomore Christina Xue/freshman Ishni Kulkarni, placed runners up. The Hawks have also been led by first singles player Claire Pan.

For the Record: In last week’s varsity report, Juliana Alusik’s name was left out of the Edison High School girls soccer team lineup.