NV-Demarest @ NV-Old Tappan 11/8 Time TBD
Hackensack 4 Park Ridge 2
NV-Demarest 6 Bergenfield 1
Glen Rock 3 Cresskill 0
NV-Old Tappan 3 Indian Hills 0
Park Ridge 1 Elmwood Park 0
Bergenfield (4-2 pk’s) 1-1 Ridgewood
Indian Hills 3 Mahwah 0
Hackensack 4 Rudgefield Park 0
Cresskill 1 Paramus 0
Demarest 2 Paramus Catholic 0
Old Tappan 4 Bergen Tech 0
Glen Rock 3 Dwight Morrow 0
The county championship trophies are in the glass case outside the gym. The banners are up on the gym wall.
When the schedule turns to October, some of the best soccer teams in North Jersey start thinking about winning that elusive county title and bragging rights for the year.
But high school sports is still about the competition. It’s still about getting the experience of playing in a tournament where every time you step on the field it’s win or go home.
That’s the premise behind the Bergen Cup boys soccer tournament, which kicks off with first-round games to be played by Sunday and runs in the footsteps of the Bergen County tournament (which began Thursday).
Elmwood Park is the top seed in a 15-team event that tournament director Rui Dos Santos, the coach at Bergen Catholic, believes could be one of the most competitive in the tourney’s five years.
And the numbers seem to bear him out.
There are only two teams that had more than four wins when the tournament was seeded Monday and one with less than two wins. Most of the teams were in the range of five or six losses, with many of those coming against some of the top seeds in the county tournament.
The seeds behind Elmwood Park are: second-seeded Cresskill, Old Tappan, Demarest, returning finalist Ridgewood, Indian Hills, Glen Rock, Ridgefield Park, former champion Hackensack, Dwight Morrow, Mahwah, former champion Bergenfield, Paramus Catholic, Bergen Tech and Paramus.
Paramus comes in as the 15th and final seed with a 1-9 record. But the Spartans play in one of the toughest divisions in North Jersey in the Big North Freedom and suffered six one-goal losses, including 1-0 losses to Northern Highlands, Ramapo and Ridgewood.
It’s teams like Paramus, saddled with tough losses against very good teams, that make this tournament one in which anything can happen.
And for the players, it may just give them the experience playing with something on the line that can help them make the jump into the county tournament in the future.