Forever in the record books

Township honors boys soccer champions from Clearview High School

Joseph Metz/The Sun
Players on the Clearview High School team pose for a photo with Harrison Township Committee members.

The Harrison Township Committee recognized the Clearview High School boys soccer team at its Feb. 20 session for winning two major championships.

The team won the South Jersey Coaches Tournament Championship on Oct. 21 for the first time – beating Washington Township in a shootout – and took the South Group III Sectional Championship for the second time on Nov. 4 by defeating Shawnee High School 3-1.

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“It was a really special team, a historic team in the annals of Clearview soccer,” said head coach Dodd Terry. “They did things that no other Clearview soccer team had ever done before, such as winning the coach’s cup tournament, which was very exciting.

“That’s all the (large) size high schools, public and private, so that tournament is looked at as like South Jersey’s champion before the state tournament takes off,” he added. “That was really special.”

Committeeman Jeff Jacques handed out certificates with proclamations to the coaches as a reward for their accomplishments. Committeeman Kevin French, Committeewoman Michelle Powell and Deputy Mayor Lawrence Moore gave out the players’ certificates.

Many team members were absent from the committee meeting because of prior commitments. Those who did attend wore black jackets with their last name and number on the front; on the back of each was a Clearview soccer logo citing the players as champions in both events.

“Beyond the championships,” noted Terry, “the team this year was such a great group of guys to coach. They really loved the game, and they have a great love (for) one another. They grew up playing soccer right here in Harrison Township.

“So many of our guys played from a very young age. We really appreciate all that the township does to support our youth athletes, generally and specifically in the area of soccer.”

The team had a gift of its own for Mayor Louis Manzo: a long-sleeve championship T-shirt.

“We’re fortunate because we get to do this,” the mayor said. “It almost seems like every year now, having a team from Clearview come in with some significant achievement that will always be forever.

“When you come back,” he added, referring to the players, “after college, you get married, have kids and even if you’re not in the area anymore, you’ll always be able to go into the school and see the recognition of what you achieved, something like a box or trophy.

Manzo also emphasized that the team’s achievement will forever be the town’s records.

“So, 100 years from now, when your grandchildren’s children are gonna be able to look and see in the record that your achievement was noted and appreciated by the entire community,” he said.

The next Harrison Township committee meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, March 4.

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