25 Years Later It Was Like It Was Yesterday

Celebrating Hanover Park Football's Perfect Season

June 5, 2015 East Hanover ~ Coach Sorrentino held everyone’s attention, passion ramped all the way up, game film on in the back round and all eyes were on him. No this was not the pre-state championship game of 1990. This was last week at the Hanover Manor where coaches players cheerleaders and families gathered to celebrate the Hornets victory over Roselle for the State title 25 years ago. It was like it happened yesterday.

from left Chuck Fischer, Ernie Eveland, Carl Montesano and Anthony Sorrentino

from left Chuck Fischer, Ernie Eveland, Carl Montesano and Anthony Sorrentino

“ I have been waiting 25 years to do this” Sorrentino said, and he reached into a box and pulled out the black game jerseys for every senior with their names embroidered on the back. To think, this man had so much love for his team, he went into the locker room storage and removed them so long ago, and waited for this moment. There was not a dry eye in the room as he called each of them up, reminisced of their contribution to the team and bear hugged them. He also took the time to remember and honor Ken Haas who passed away.

Its hard to believe its been 25 years since this team rallied to an undefeated season, including a gut clenching 7-6 victory over Mendham, at the time, and again today under the leadership of Bill Carpluk. The coaches and players remember that game as well as every play in the final battle with Roselle. Some of us remember exactly where we were standing when the clock ran out. And everyone in that room still has the heart of a warrior.

1990 State Champions

1990 State Champions

It wasn’t just about life on the field, it was about family. The Sorrentino children were all in attendance to celebrate with their parents. They lived through this at such young ages. As a matter of fact, 25 year old Samantha Sorrentino’s birth was an HP event. After the victory, the night her parents brought her home, the entire program arrived at the Sorrentino home to share the win and welcome her to the family. “Coach Sorr” & wife Susan helped build community. They opened their hearts and their home week after week and were all in. As far as the players, they were no strangers to locking up the house. They lined up next to each other since grade school even won the conference for East Hanover PAL. Throw in the families and fans, the desire support and encouragement from a Jersey town and you have a perfect season.

Captains Doug Sward, Anthony Westpy, Frank Franco and Joe Fillipone

Captains Doug Sward, Anthony Westpy, Frank Franco and Joe Filipone

It was one great night and like the season, not long forgotten. Mostly because that will and desire lives on in each of these players and coaches. Many of them are as close today, as they were on the field, doing business together, raising families together and even coaching local midget football programs. Like they did on the field, if one man goes down, they all go down to bring him back up. Coach Sorr’s legacy lives on as his children all share his gift to inspire athletes. His son Tony, is a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars staff and both of his daughters Angela and Samantha coach local teams and programs.
At any time if you begin to miss the magic this crew made years ago, show up at Coach Carl Montesano’s house during NFL playoffs. For the last 25 years Coach Sorr and his boys go there to watch the game like it was their job and will probably be there for 25 years to come.

HP newspaper pic

Bob Hope and Shirley Ross said it best.. Thanks for the memories guys!

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One Response to 25 Years Later It Was Like It Was Yesterday

  1. Coach Sorentino says:

    Thank you Lori for sharing this great story..It was truly my most cherished experience as a Head Coach and will never be forgotten. Because of people like you, my years at HP will always be a true blessing to me and my family.