By JR Parachini
Union County is well represented in upcoming Phil Simms New Jersey North-South All-Star Football Classic (June 23 at Piscataway) with, from left, in front: Agbai Irioka of Union, Shaquan Champagne of Linden, Jason McRae of Roselle and Rahway resident Jelanie Mitchell of Mater Dei HS. In back are: Joe Scaglione of Westfield, Charlie Terry of Summit and Hashim Pretlow of Elizabeth. Missing from photo is Donte Raymond of Rahway. (Photo by Bill Allen- visit www.njsportaction.net)
PISCATAWAY – Summit senior Charlie Terry spent the fall season impressing a lot of people with his play at quarterback, leading the Hilltoppers to a perfect 12-0 record and the North 2, Group 3 state championship.
Now the First Team All-County and Third Team All-State performer will get the opportunity to show what he can do in front of the first quarterback to lead the New York Giants to a Super Bowl victory.
Terry is one of eight players – and the only one on offense – from Union County schools that will be representing the North squad in next month’s 36th annual Phil Simms New Jersey North-South All-Star Football Classic.
The game, moved from Kean University because Alumni Stadium will be under renovation at the time of the event, will take place at Piscataway High School on June 23, with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Involved with the game for the first time this year – similar to the way Boomer Esiasion is associated with the Empire Challenge New York City vs. Long Island High Schools All-Star Football Game – Simms was present at Sunday’s media day at Piscataway High and he said he is also looking forward to spending time with both teams at their practices leading up to the game.
Simms was approached by Game Director and Caldwell head coach Ken Trimmer and was more than glad to accept putting his name to the annual all-star game to help enhance its stature.
Giants all-time great quarterback and CBS TV’s No. 1 NFL color analyst Phil Simms (left) greets North honorary head coach Mike Miello during this past Sunday’s Media Day for the Phil Simms New Jersey North-South Classic. (Photo by Bill Allen-njsporaction.net)
“When Ken asked me I said I would love to do it,” Simms said. “I want to help the game, help the kids and also help the coaches who have been great to me over the years.”
Simms has two sons who starred for New Jersey high schools and then went on to play in the NFL. Chris was a standout at Ramapo and is no longer playing in the NFL, while Matt was a star at Don Bosco Prep and is presently a backup quarterback with the New York Jets.
“This game will grow and start to dominate again,” Simms said.
Forty years ago – in June of 1974 – Simms played in a game like this as he was graduating from Southern High School. The all-star game, which he said was played at the University of Louisville, included the best senior players that year from the state of Kentucky.
Simms was already committed to in-state school Morehead State, where he starred collegiately before the Giants drafted him in the first round in 1979.
“I remember that we had two really hard weeks of practice before the game,” Simms said. “I was really looking forward to it and then I only got to throw two passes (in a victory).”
The other Union County players on the North roster include Agbai Iroha of Union, Shaquan Champagne of Linden, Jason McRae of Roselle, Joe Scaglione of Westfield, Donte Raymond of Rahway, Hashim Pretlow of Elizabeth and Rahway resident Jelanie Mitchell of Mater Dei in Monmouth County. All will play on defense.
“Having Phil associated with the game takes it to the next level,” Trimmer said.
Simms is the only player to be named MVP of the Pro Bowl – after the 1985 season – and then MVP of the Super Bowl – after the 1986 season – in consecutive years.
Terry, who threw for 1,700 yards and rushed for 400 in his only year as Summit’s starting quarterback, knows Simms from his job as NFL commentator.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to play in this game among these other very talented players,” said Terry, who will continue playing quarterback on the Division 3 level at Gettysburg. His cousin Robbie Fay, a former standout placekicker at New Providence, is on the football roster there.
Summit ’s two wins by less than double digits defined its 2013 season. The first was a come-from-behind 26-20 victory at Rahway in a battle of 4-0 squads. The second was the holding-on-for-dear-life 16-13 win over Parsippany Hills in the N2, G3 final at Kean.
“We came back against Rahway in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points,” Terry said. “Colm Dougherty really saved us. At halftime it was a reality check for us. We came together in the second half.
“The championship game, there was pressure the whole game and it was difficult. We scored 16 points in the first half and didn’t score after that, but we did enough to get the job done.”
The North has won the last two games, including last year’s record-setting scoring performance in a 54-8 rout.
The series is tied again at 16-16-2.
The North has never led in the series, so it has another chance to do so this time.
NOTES: Honorary head coaches are Mike Miello for the North and Bob DeMarco for the South. Miello coached many successful teams at Ramapo, while DeMarco guided an undefeated Madison Central squad to a state championship and final No. 1 ranking in the state in 1988.
UNION COUNTY PLAYERS
ON THE NORTH ROSTER:
Charlie Terry, Summit, QB, (6-3, 195)
Joe Scaglione, Westfield, L, (6-0, 270)
Shaquan Champagne, Linden, LB, (5-8, 170)
Donte Raymond, Rahway, LB, (6-2, 218)
Hashim Pretlow, Elizabeth, LB, (6-2, 220)
Agbai Iroha, Union, DB, (5-10, 190)
Jason McRae, Roselle, DB, (5-11, 180)
Jelanie Mitchell, Mater Dei (Rahway resident), DB, (5-10, 185)
both teams will practice at the same sights:
Friday, June 20: Cranford High School’s Memorial Field
Saturday, June 21: Met Life Stadium, New York Giants’ Facility
Sunday, June 22: Florham Park, New York Jets’ Facility
Sunday night, June 22: Banquet at Kean
2014 MVP’S to be named after:
North Offense: Dave Szott
North Defense: Jim Burt
South Offense: Joe Theismann
South Defense: Jim Jeffcoat
SERIES TIED AT 16-16-2:
2013: North 54, South 8 – at Kean University
2012: North 14, South 7 – at Kean University
2011: South 21, North 14 – at Kean University
2010: North 17, South 3 – at Kean University
2009: South 7, North 0 – at Kean University
2008: North 31, South 25 – at Rutgers Stadium
2007: South 14, North 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
2006: North 31, South 16 – at Rutgers Stadium
2005: North 9, South 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
2004: North 26, South 21 – at Rutgers Stadium
2003: South 3, North 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
2002: No game was played at Rutgers
because of inclement weather before kickoff.
2001: North 24, South 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
2000: South 20, North 5 – at Rutgers Stadium
1999: South 22, North 19 – at Rutgers Stadium
1998: North 33, South 31 – at Rutgers Stadium
1997: South 28, North 24 – at The College of New Jersey
1996: South 32, North 23 – at Rutgers Stadium
1995: North 37, South 15 – at Rutgers Stadium
1994: South 21, North 16 – at Trenton State College
1993: South 9, North 8 – at Giants Stadium
1992: North 7, South 7 (tie) – at Giants Stadium
1991: North 26, South 12 – at Giants Stadium
1990: North 14, South 10 – at Rutgers Stadium
1989: South 24, North 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
1988: South 12, North 9 – at Rutgers Stadium
1987: North 21, South 10 – at Rutgers Stadium
1986: North 20, South 17 – at Rutgers Stadium
1985: North 10, South 10 (tie) – at Rutgers Stadium
1984: North 7, South 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
1983: South 41, North 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
1982: South 16, North 7 – at Rutgers Stadium
1981: South 32, North 0 – at Rutgers Stadium
1980: North 13, South 6 – at Rutgers Stadium
1979: South 34, North 13 – at Rutgers Stadium