The North Jersey Super Football Conference (NJSFC) is closing in on its second full season, as the NJSIAA state championships will be contested this weekend.
And the NJSFC’s president, Joe Piro, couldn’t be happier with the conference’s performance, as 16 member schools have a chance to win a state crown.
A total of nine sectional championships are possible for the country’s largest high school football conference, with at least seven member schools assured titles, based on the matchups. Among those games are a battle for possibly the state’s No.1 team, when Bergen Catholic and St. Peter’s Prep meet at MetLife Stadium, on Dec. 1 (for the Non-Public Group 4 championship), at 8 p.m.
“I’m really happy with the way the conference has progressed,” said Piro, who has been Nutley High’s athletic director since 2004. “I believe we’re farther ahead than what I had anticipated we’d be at this point three years ago.”
The conference noted that Friday night’s games at MetLife, which also includes a 5 p.m. game where Union City takes on Montclair for the North 1, Group 5 title, could be one of the best nights in NJ high school football history.
In addition, there are huge games for member schools on Dec. 2, at MetLife, including River Dell vs. Ramapo (North 1 Group 3) and Mount Olive taking on Old Tappan (North 1, Group 4), as well as what looks like two tremendous games at Kean University, on Dec. 2, with rivals Shabazz and Weequahic facing off at 10 a.m., followed by a Non-Public Group 3 matchup between St. Joseph (Montvale) and DePaul.
Piro also noted that West Essex and Hackettstown will carry the NJSFC flag in its respective championship games against Voorhees and Rutherford.
The NJSFC has 113 members, including the newest school, Sussex Tech, which will begin play in the 2018-2019 school year.
“The credit to the league’s success goes to the great athletic directors and coaches, who have believed in what the conference stands for,” said Piro. “We’re completing our second year of playing, but really this is the third year, considering all the work that went into it, to prep (for 2016).”
Piro has long discussed the competitive balance of the league, which continues to evolve, through the work of the member school’s athletic directors.
“This is the best time of the year,” said Piro, as the state finals near. “I’m really happy where we are, as a conference, and I can’t wait to see some of the games this weekend. It speaks to the level of competitiveness, with 16 (member) teams in the finals.”