For the first time since 2019, NorthJersey.com and The Record hosted an in-person North Jersey High School Sports Awards show as the top athletes from Bergen and Passaic counties were honored on Tuesday night.
A full house packed into Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne as 40 awards were handed out, including 33 that went to the Players of the Year in their respective sports.
The big winners of the night were St. Joseph wrestler Jimmy Mullen and Lakeland runner Angelina Perez, who took home honors as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
Mullen won his second state championship this season, and will be aiming for his third next year as a senior. He would become just the third heavyweight in the state’s history to win three state championships.
“After I won my first I celebrated in school, but then I worked for my second and now it’s time to work for my third,’ Mullen said.
Perez put together a storied cross-country career, capping it off by capturing the 2021 Meet of Champions gold medal this past fall. In the spring, she capped her track career by winning the 3,200 meters at the State Meet of Champions. Perez will attend the University of Florida next year for cross-country and track and field.
“It was an honor to just be nominated for this award,” Perez said. “This sport has really changed my life in so many ways and I really feel like I’ve become the best version of myself because of it.”
Beyond the Athlete of the Year awards, other specialty awards handed out included the McGill Scholarship awards, won by Eastside football player Kelvin Medina and Bergen Tech softball player Shauna Moran.
Hasbrouck Heights track and field athlete Marybeth Barrios won this year’s Courage Award, while Dumont girls basketball coach Dave Cieplicki won the Coach of the Year award.
The Paterson Charter boys basketball team brought home this year’s Team of the Year award after winning its first Passaic County title and first state title this past winter.
McGill:There’s no opponent too big for the Male Charlie McGill scholarship winner
McGill:Female Charlie McGill scholarship winner cherishes living in the moment
“Words can’t explain,” Paterson Charter Head Coach Jerry Wimberly said. “Means a lot to the school itself. Means a lot to the kids and to the staff and to the parents, to the whole unit that made this happen.”
North Jersey’s Players of the Year
BASEBALL: Caden Dana, Don Bosco
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Paulina Paris, Saddle River Day
BOYS BASKETBALL: Will Richardson, Bergen Catholic
GIRLS BOWLING: Sara Holden, Northern Highlands
BOYS BOWLING: Zachary Jordan, Wayne Hills
GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY: Angelina Perez, Lakeland
BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY: Jacob Heredia, Clifton
GIRLS FIELD: Niki Woods, Demarest
BOYS FIELD: Max Zuckerman, Pascack Hills
FIELD HOCKEY: Krista Lilienthal, Pompton Lakes
FOOTBALL (OFFENSE): Steve Angeli, Bergen Catholic
FOOTBALL (DEFENSE): Q’yaier Price, DePaul
GIRLS GOLF: Emma Shen, Bergen Tech
BOYS GOLF: Dylan Gallagher, Dwight-Englewood
GYMNASTICS: Jacqueline Bernardo, Wayne Hills
ICE HOCKEY: Will Fuller, Northern Highlands
GIRLS INDOOR TRACK: Christina Allen, River Dell
BOYS INDOOR TRACK: Connor Munson, Westwood
GIRLS LACROSSE: Kaitlyn Davies, Wayne Hills
BOYS LACROSSE: Koleton Marquis, Don Bosco
GIRLS SOCCER: Emily Jozak, Wayne Valley
BOYS SOCCER: Kyle Jahnke, Waldwick
SOFTBALL: Jocelyn Moody, Immaculate Heart
GIRLS SWIMMING: Katie Lawrence, Indian Hills
BOYS SWIMMING: Aaron Baltaytis, Tenafly
GIRLS TENNIS: Stephanie Yakoff, Fort Lee
BOYS TENNIS: Ajay Kartik, Northern Highlands
GIRLS TRACK: Angelina Perez, Lakeland
BOYS TRACK: Fabian France, Bergen Catholic
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Annabelle He, Ridgewood
BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Masa Hamada, Bergenfield
GIRLS WRESTLING: Olivia Klein, Paramus
BOYS WRESTLING: Jimmy Mullen, St. Joseph