Nutley’s Cafone: The rivalry with Belleville will always resonate; Belleville’s Burde does see a change

Deanna Cafone is a 2011 graduate of Nutley High and a former cheerleader. As passionate for her town as they come, the now 20-year-old college student was quick to respond to my earlier blog about the end of the Belleville-Nutley football rivalry, in terms of true competition. Here are the honest thoughts of one of the nicest people I’ve ever met…

From an alumni point of view and from just witnessing these games from the outside, it may appear to have lost some luster.

But trust me, get into those schools- the students feel the rivalries. And they are getting better and better at just keeping the aggression on the
field because most of these kids are friends outside of that. The feeling you get as a player or someone who is apart of it hasn’t changed. Just what people are viewing as a tradition dying out- but it still lives in the coaches and players. Trust me on this one, I’m not out too many years!

Ken Burde is a retired Belleville High school teacher. Long a huge advocate of the students he taught and mentored, Burde did note that the rivalry has lost some luster. Here are his thoughts…

I like to find cause for things. and I saw the end of the football rivalry when they stopped playing on Saturday Afternoons in daylight and started playing games at night under the lights… I remember the Saturday games when I was a kid.. The stadium would be packed week after week. It was almost like EVERY game was a rivalry game.  But then again, that was in the Big 10 Days.. when we took on teams like East Orange, and such…   When they started playing at night.. the first few years, there was good attendance.. but then… Friday nights turned into movie night date night.. etc.   The Thanksgiving Game against Nutley would get everyone out in attendance on the way to family dinner… Old Timers… the guys that played years ago and still speak about each game play-by-play… People you haven’t seen in a year.. It was more of a rivalry event because of the day!  Coaching matters as well.  There will never be another John Senesky, and his team of assistant coaches like our friend Bill Bakka, Joe D’Ambola, Gennaro Russo, just to name a few…. Politics and favoritism have put a stop to that as we can see.  Now, the Belleville-Nutley rivalry is just another Friday night game. The rivalry is in the memories.. perpetuated by the continuance of meeting once a year and making it an extra special event.

Please keep those thoughts on this matter coming…


By mike051893

One comment on “Nutley’s Cafone: The rivalry with Belleville will always resonate; Belleville’s Burde does see a change

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