2012 Fair Lawn Cutters Football ScheduleDateOpponentScore (W/L)Sept. 8
Sept. 14 @Clifton
Sept. 22 @Kennedy
@Don Bosco Prep
@Passaic County Tech
Oct. 20 Ridgewood
Nov. 2 @Eastside
THIS WEEK IN FLHS GRIDIRON HISTORY – 2012 Week 1
A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
By Dick Engelhardt
Fair Lawn High School opened September 13th, 1943. This 2012 history covers the years ending in “2.”
1952 – Frank Bennett’s Bergen-Passaic Interscholastic League (B-PIL) CUTTERS beat the Passaic Valley Conference (PVC) GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside 26-13 in independent action. During 1947-54 and 1983 Fair Lawn went 5-4 (.556) over the GHOSTS. This was sweetened by the fact that, until FLHS opened in 1943, most Fair Lawn students attended Eastside. A few students from the Columbia Heights section went to Hawthorne and the Radburn section students went to Ridgewood. The 4-4 (.500) deadlock was broken by the 20-18 Fair Lawn victory in 1983. In 2010 the GHOSTS and CUTTERS found themselves in the new Big North Conference (BNC) Division II, which became the Liberty Division. The teams are 1-1 (.500) in (BNC) Liberty Division action in 2010-11 and our CUTTERS lead the rivalry 6-5 (.545).
1962 – Coach Ed Sheehy’s CUTTERS were beaten 28-14 by the CRUSADERS of East Paterson, Now Elmwood Park, in an exciting new neighborhood rivalry. - During 1962-65 the tough CRUSADERS went 3-1 (.750) over our CUTTERS. The 1st Fair Lawn victory was in the last game in 1965 when our CUTTERS went 8-0-1 (1.000) and took the Northern New Jersey Inter-scholastic League (NNJIL) title.
1972 – Al Reinoso’s CUTTERS were stung 19-0 by the HORNETS of Passaic Valley in NNJIL action. During 1944-46 and 1966 independently and 1967- 81 and 83 in the NNJIL the HORNETS went 13-6-2 (.684) over our CUTTERS including a 20-0 shut out victory in the 1980 State playoff finals at GIANTS STADIUM after Fair Lawn had beaten the INDIANS of Passaic 27-18 in the first round. Fair Lawn had edged PV 7-6 in NNJIL play during the regular season.
1982 – Pete Natale’s CUTTERS began what would be their third ever winless season (1960 and 1976 were the others) with a 27-6 loss to the IRONMEN of Don Bosco in NNJIL Bergen Division action. In 1976 in independent action and 1982 and 83 in the NNJIL, the IRONMEN went 3-0 over our CUTTERS. The unfair advantage the parochial schools had was the main reason Fair Lawn and Bergenfield left the NNJIL in 1984 and returned to the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL), which Fair Lawn had left in 1959 and Bergenfield in 1949.
1992 – Mike Alberque’s CUTTERS were beaten 21-14 by the BEARS of Bergenfield in NBIL Division 1 action. Fair Lawn took the 1945-48 and 1962-2008 rivalry 35-16 (.686) and the 1994-2008 Turkey Day rivalry 11-4 (.733). The teams squared off 1945-48 in the B-PIL, 1962-83 in the NNJIL and 1984-2008 in the NBIL. It was a great 51 season rivalry.
2002 – Alberque’s CUTTERS were beaten 21-6 by the GREEN RAIDERS of Ramapo in NBIL Division 1 action. Ramapo took the 1956-58 and 1984-2008 rivalry 17-11 (.607).
THE GRIDIRON 1-2012
By Dick Engelhardt
It’s great to be on THE GRIDIRON again as the CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High begin their 70th football season. Amir Saadah, a 2000 FLHS graduate who played for Mike Alberque’s 1997-99 CUTTERS, took over last year as the 11th Football coach in FLHS history. He followed Marty Fischbein 1943-44, Frank Bennett 1945-60, Ed Sheehy 1961-64, Frank Devens 1965-71, Al Reinoso 1972-74, Rich Szura 1965-77, Pete Natale 1978-87, Mike Alberque 1988-2001, Greg Tanzer 2002-06 and Stan Myles 2007-10. Their combined 1943-2011 record is 315-298-14 (.509).
Championships came in the Bergen-Passaic Interscholastic League (B-PIL) in 1945, 53 and 55 with co-championships in ’46 with Buccaneers of Bogota and ’47 with the GOLDEN BEARS of Lyndhurst; the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) in 1965 and 66 with a tri-championship in ’80 with the FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High and the HORNETS of Passaic Valley and the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League (NBIL) Division 1 in 1984, 85, 87 and 89. The State playoff system began in 1974 and our CUTTERS were in the playoffs in 1979, 80, 85, 88, 89, 2000 and 2009.
Saadah has an all-star coaching staff. Billy Lynn is offensive coordinator, Bobby Guy is defensive coordinator and Dan Iozzia and Joe Borkowski are assistants. Two volunteers were added: Brian Walis, Fair Lawn High class of 2009, will be helping with O and D Line and Parag Patel, a Parsippany Hills Grad, will be working with our DB's and WR's. Jim Beshaw and Ed Guy coach the freshmen team. The names Beshaw, Guy, Iozzia, Lynn, Saadah and Walis are big in FLHS Gridiron history and Joe Borkowski is a nephew of former Fair Lawn Coach Mike Alberque, who is a 2012 inductee into the FLHS Athletic Hall of Fame!
This Saturday our CUTTERS open the season at home at SASSO FIELD at Noon in Big North Conference (BNC) crossover action against the COMETS of Hackensack. During 1959-82 in the NNJIL the COMETS went 16-7-1 (.696) over our CUTTERS. In 1959, Fair Lawn’s maiden season in the league, our CUTTERS won 27-6 and yet saw Hackensack take the title by half a game. Frank Bennett’s 1953 B-PIL champs shared the North Jersey, Section 1, Group III State title with the COMETS. Alberque’s 2000 CUTTERS put up a whale of a battle before losing 14-6 to the nationally ranked COMETS in the States. The 2-0 Hackensack lead in BNC crossover action in 2010–11 has the COMETS’ record against our CUTTERS 19-7-1 (.731).
My Fair Lawn High School Class of ’57 will be in town for its reunion. In their senior year Coach Bennett’s CUTTERS went 5-3 (.625) overall and 4-1 (.800) in the NBIL. The Thanksgiving game against the MAROONS of Ridgewood decided the championship with the MAROONS’ 7-6 victory giving them the crown at 5-0 (1.000). The 13th FLHS graduating class had their big day 55 years ago on June 17, 1957. We like to think we were featured in the Statler Brothers smash hit, “The Class of 57 Had Its Dreams!”
Our heroes got ready for the season with scrimmage action culminating in a game scrimmage against the NORSEMEN of Northern Valley, Demarest. I look forward to seeing our heroes get off to a good start. From here it looks like Fair Lawn 14- Hackensack 13. GO GUTTERS GO!!!