Hillsborough Football Heads to Regional Finals at Rutgers

Rebecca Ries, Staff Writer

“We Are the Champions” blasted over the loudspeakers on Friday, Nov. 19 as Hillsborough Football captured its first state title in twenty-one years, officially becoming Central Jersey Group 5 champions. The sectional game was highly anticipated, ending Hillsborough’s decades long drought. The match was tight in the first quarter with strong defense from opponent North Brunswick, but in the second quarter Hillsborough pulled ahead and maintained a commanding lead for the rest of the game.   

Once again, the victory was headed by Rutgers University commit and senior Thomas Amankwaa and classmates Tyler Michinard, James Mazuera, William Dixon, and Ethan Mclaughlin, with strong showings from juniors Ryan Tasetano, Charles Volpe, Kevin Shelton, Shane Donoghue, and others. The entire team ran together at the close of the game to celebrate their 35-8 win, the last game on Hillsborough turf for the seniors.

Rutgers SHI Stadium, where Hillsborough Football’s regional finals game will be played. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Amankwaa reflects on the historic undefeated season full of broken records, and looks back on his time as a Raider. “This season has been really fun and eventful…we have overcome a lot of adversity on and off the field and we have a bond that will last forever. And that is why I feel we were as successful as we were,” Amankwaa said. “The sectional game was exciting as well. Coming off of a season that barely had any fans [due to COVID-19 restrictions], it meant a lot to just see everyone’s faces at all the games.”

Now motivated by the prospect of a regional title, Hillsborough Football gears up for a game on entirely new turf: Rutgers SHI Stadium. “The team in my opinion is very excited for the regional championship at Rutgers. We’re all just happy that we get to spend another 2 weeks together at practice and after school playing the game we all love.”

The game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4, and Hillsborough fans are encouraged to attend the game and support the team in its regional championship. This match will surely be a memorable way to close out an incredibly monumental season for Hillsborough.